Governor Appoints New Supervisor of Election to act in absence of Archibald

In the statement, it was revealed that the Governor General had taken the decision to appoint Wingrove George to exercise the functions of the office as Acting Supervisor of Elections, with effect from Monday 24th February, 2014.

This means that George has been on the job for almost two weeks, though no formal announcement had been made to the public, for what many consider to be an extremely important position, especially in light of the fact that the country is not too far away from a general election.

The Governor General said that he acted after consulting the Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, Premier of Nevis, Vance Amory, and the Opposition Leader, Mark Brantley in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 34 (2) of the constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis.

George replaces, for the time being, the ailing Raphael Archibald, who was appointed in 2012, but got ill some six to seven months ago, before presiding over his first election.

Not too long ago, the main opposition party in the country, the People’s Action Movement, PAM, expressed its concern over the continued absence of Archibald and also the inaction to either have him replaced or a temporary appointed made. The party said then, that there was even greater need for concern because of the pending election and the many objections that were being made about persons registered to vote, whom they claimed were not lawfully qualified to do so.

They also spoke about the release of the Voters Register in January, though there was no Supervisor in place to oversee that release and to ensure all was in order.

Section 34 (1) of the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis states that the Supervisor’s duty, in part, shall be to exercise general supervision over the registration of voters in elections and also over the conduct of any poll. The party in a media interview had also questioned the legality of publishing such a list without a Supervisor being in place to do oversight.

A senior Government minister who had recently acknowledged that the Supervisor remained ill but was back on the island and recovering, hinted that the Administration was considering a replacement for Archibald or to make a temporary appointment, but she had stressed that no final decision had been made at the time. With the Governor’s announcement on Monday, it confirms that a final decision was finally taken.

 

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