Minister Daniel’s appeal follows recent public outburst and displeasure by members of the NRP led Nevis Island Administration over the continued absence and non-participation of the elected opposition legislators in the Nevis Island Assembly.
NRP has claimed that both of the elected members of the opposition bench have failed to show up for work in the legislature for every single sitting of the law-making body since the 11th July Election. “One member did show up to be sworn in but he left immediately after and did not participate in the debate of any of the legislation that has been brought to the Assembly; that does not count as showing up for work,” said an NRP official.
The incumbent Nevis Reformation Party Administration returned to office for a second term following the 11th July poll but the results have been strongly contested by the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, which has taken court action over allegations of voter disenfranchisement, where it was argued that over 200 persons who were properly registered to vote, had their names illegally removed by government operatives, denying them the opportunity to cast their ballot.
Additionally, the CCM is also challenging the results o one constituency, (St. John), where the NRP candidate, Hensley Daniel was declared the winner by 14 votes, with some 14 votes also being declared spoilt, by electoral officials.
An NRP release has indicated that after coming under heavy pressure from the media on Tuesday, Vance Amory, leader of the CCM, who has not attended the recent meetings of the assembly, in protest of the results and the installation of what he and his party believes to be an illegally constituted Administration, told the St. Kitts Press that on 27th October, he did not know that the sitting of the Assembly scheduled for 28th October had been changed to Monday 31st October.
But NRP’s Hensley Daniel said that he has to question Mr. Amory’s honesty. “All of the notices for the sitting of the Assembly are dispatched from the Legal Department of the Nevis Island Administration.”
The Legal Department records the delivery of the notices for the Assembly in what is called the Legal Department Outgoing Book. Copies of the relevant pages from that book have been extracted and reveal that notice was dispatched to Mr. Amory on 20th October for a sitting of the Assembly on 28th October. It further reveals that notice was dispatched to Mr. Amory on 24th October for a sitting of the Assembly on 31st October. Therefore, when Mr. Amory spoke at his party’s press conference on 27th October, he knew but refused to tell the truth, that he had already been notified about the change in the date of the sitting of the Assembly, said Daniel.”
However, though Daniel indicates that the records show that the notices were “dispatched” to Mr. Amory, he gave no indication that Mr. Amory received such notices. Just before the July Island elections, many voters on the island were sent notices for hearings challenging the validity of their registration but many of these notices were received by the voters after the day of the hearing and in other cases, some claimed that they never received such notices, though they too were dispatched.
Daniel said, “We maintain that the only members of the legislature who have reported to work to debate and make contribution in the legislature since the 11th July Election have been the five legislators representing the Government: Premier and elected member for Nevis 5 (St. Thomas’), Joseph W. Parry, Deputy Premier, Leader of Government Business and elected member for Nevis 2 (St. John’s), Hensley Daniel, elected member for Nevis 1 (St. Paul’s), Robelto Hector, and Senators Carlisle Powell and Dwight Cozier,” the Deputy Premier
Daniel continued, “I know that the former senator, Mr. Brantley, who is no longer a member of the Nevis Island Assembly, has refused to accept his defeat in the July Election and has refused to accept that I beat him fair and square and he has taken his objection to the Court. But is the business of the people of Nevis suppose to stop because he has a problem with the result? Is the island Government suppose to be at a standstill for one man who blames everyone else except himself for his defeat?”
Since July’s election result, not one member of the opposition has contributed to any of the legislation passed in the Assembly and one member, the leader of the opposing party has refused to show up to be sworn in, said NRP.