General elections in St. Kitts and Nevis conducted with maturity and high level of discipline, say CARICOM Election Observers

By SKNIS,

According to a report by the CARICOM Election Observation Mission, the results of the St. Kitts-Nevis General Elections have “reflected the will of the people” and on polling day “voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear” reflecting a mature and high level of discipline.

The three-member Mission, which was led by Gasper JN Baptiste of Saint Lucia, visited 94 polling stations on both St. Kitts and Nevis on June 05, 2020, Election Day. The team was invited by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and arrived two days before the elections. They were tested on arrival for COVID-19 and protective protocols were observed.

The Mission congratulated “the staff of the Electoral Office, the poll workers, the political parties and all candidates, the security forces and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the mature way in which the Elections were conducted and the high level of discipline displayed throughout the process.”

The CARICOM article, which was published on June 08, stated that on the day before the elections, “the mission met with a cross-section of stakeholders including the Supervisor of Elections, the Commissioner of Police, representatives of political parties and members of civil society and non-governmental organizations.”

The article reads that on polling day, “the team visited ninety-four (94) polling stations across ten (10) of the eleven (11) constituencies: seven (7) in St. Kitts and three (3) in Nevis. The Mission monitored the day’s activities by observing the opening of the poll, the voting process, the closing of the poll and the counting of ballots.”

“While there were allegations of late starts in some constituencies, the team observed that polls opened on time in the polling stations in which the opening of the polls was observed,” read the article. “The polling stations visited were fully staffed and had agents present representing the political parties contesting the elections. The polling stations, for the most part, were conveniently located and easily accessible to the voters. The Mission observed that the materials and supplies on hand at the polling stations were available in the required quantities.”

The team noted that “no major concerns were observed.”

The article further reads that “adequate security was in place at all locations with the Officers displaying a very professional approach which contributed to the level of calm which accompanied the day’s activities. The turnout was heavy in the morning with a lull by midday and a steady flow of voters later in the afternoon. The poll workers remained diligent and steadily carried out the required procedures ensuring that all electors who turned out were able to register their vote.”

It was observed that sufficient health measures to protect voters against the COVID-19 pandemic were enforced at all the stations visited. All polling stations were equipped with additional face masks.

The Mission assessed that “voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear and that the results of the 5 June 2020 General Elections reflect the will of the people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The preliminary results indicate that Team Unity has won nine (9) of the eleven (11) seats.”

A full report will be prepared and submitted the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Irwin LaRocque. According to the article, the full report will include among others “a recommendation on the need for the Presiding Officers to undertake the preliminary count at the polling stations at the close of the poll and to prepare a statement of the poll thereafter in an effort to reduce the length of time it takes to declare the results so that this can be done within a reasonable amount of time.”

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission thanked all of the stakeholders, “including the Leaders of the Political Parties, Civil Society, the Media and the People of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis for their warm welcome and cooperation which contributed to the success of the Mission.”

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