Dr. Harris made this pronouncement, among others, today (7th August) at a press conference held at the Team Unity’s Command Centre on Fort Street, Basseterre.
“Enough is enough! Democracy is worth the ultimate sacrifice. This illegitimate government must now do the honourable thing and call fresh elections and let the people decide whether they want the cabal to continue in its reckless path or they wish for a new and progressive government. We in Team Unity are ready to govern the country in the best way possible,” Harris said.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Harris informed members of the media that the press conference was aimed at addressing Justice Darshan Ramdhani’s judgment in the recently concluded boundaries case.
He noted that the Constituency Boundaries Commission had sought to manipulate the electoral boundaries for the benefit of the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, but Justice Ramdhani granted the necessary prohibitions preventing Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas and the Governor General from acting in any way on the Commission’s Report.
Harris proclaimed that the Boundary Report was null and void and that winning the case was a major victory for democracy and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The Boundary Report of September 5, 2013 does not exist. It is a nullity in law! The pernicious plan of the outgoing regime to gerrymander the boundaries has been disrupted. This is a major victory for democracy. It is a big win for the people and an even more significant victory for our country.
“Our country…our people can now turn the page from bad government to good government. They can now charter a better way forward for the development of our country and its fragile democracy.”
He stressed that an illegitimate government could not be accepted anymore in the Federation and the current “callous government” must no longer be tolerated.
Harris called on the nation to take a firm stand against the Government and noted that any effort to change the boundaries must be treated as “an act of desperation and treachery against the people and country, and we the people must resist it with all that we have”.
The Unity Construct Leader intimated that the proposed boundary changes were the last desperate effort of Dr. Douglas to save himself from a comprehensive election rejection.
“Our people know that the Douglas party cannot win the requisite six seats necessary to form a government. Our people are smart enough to know that after the all-eight in 2000, Douglas has taken his party into a situation of reducing electoral seats.
“So 2004, for example, he went from eight seats to seven; in 2010 he went from seven to six, and now in 2014 he holds four seats…rather tenuously. There is no obvious way out for Douglas save for deceptions, lies, mischief and gerrymandering. None of these will save him! We in Team Unity are ready for serious electoral reform with a legitimate government,” Harris added.
Making reference to former Supervisor of Elections Leroy Benjamin and Nevis’ former Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence, Harris said: “We reject the self-serving, piecemeal approach at cherry picking at electoral reform. That approach leaves a corrupt system in place where electoral officials, from Supervisor of Elections to Registration Officers are found guilty of misfeasance and are fined to the tune of EC$2 million.”
He claimed that the “cherry picking” allows persons to vote where they do not live and that corrupt and illegal practices are being encouraged from Church Street.
Harris declared that Team Unity believes that action to stop vote padding, secret transfers of people and the bribing of voters are more urgent and have more healthy impact on the Federation’s electoral system.
“The boundaries,” he stressed, “were fine in 1993, 1995, 2004, 2009 and they are fine in 2014. They are not fine now because the Douglas cabal is losing support.”
Last Thursday (31st July 2014), Justice Ramdhani ruled that the Report of the Constituency Boundaries Commission laid before the Parliament by Prime Minister Douglas on 5th September 2013 was ultra vires, null and void and of no effect.