The demand has come from the Leader of the People’s Action Movement, Lindsay Grant, who indicated that given the recent court matter, he is renewing his call for the immediate resignation of Supervisor of Elections Mr. Leroy Benjamin. Grant cited excerpts from the recent Nevis Election Petition judgement to add further credence to his call for the Supervisor to resign.
“In his judgement the learned Justice Lionel Jones SC stated “The Supervisor’s refusal to correct what was clearly a wrong is evidence of a deliberate aim to subvert the rights of voters.” This statement speaks volumes and points directly to the supervisor’s ability to conduct what is one of the most, if not the most important, offices in our politically democratic process,” said PAM Leader Lindsay Grant.
Grant further contends that the Supervisor’s refusal to properly address the concerns of the Concerned Citizens Movement, with regards to the perceived lack of competence or biased of Chief Registration Officer Mrs Bernadette Lawrence, based on her blatant disregard of proper registration procedures as expressed in the Judgement, warrants his immediate removal.
“The judge in his wisdom clearly stated “This was no accident nor negligence on the part of the 3rd Respondent, (Mrs Bernadette Lawrence). This was deliberate disenfranchisement. These decisions benefited the NRP of which the 3rd Respondent (Mrs Bernadette Lawrence) was a supporter and any reasonably well informed and fair minded observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that she acted with bias.” The judgement further stated “there was reckless disregard by the Registration Officer of the importance of observing the rules of natural justice”. Therefore the judge confirmed what the opposition had highlighted on many occasions and had expressed to the Supervisor Pastor Benjamin and were basically ignored,” said Grant.
Grant continued “It is not by coincidence that every election that Leroy Benjamin has managed or conducted has ended mired in controversy and in the courts. His record as far as the conduct of elections is abysmal, and his bias and incompetence is too blatant to be ignored. The People’s Action Movement condemns the barefaced and systemic fraud in our electoral process.
We call on the Governor General to seek the resignation of Mr Leroy Benjamin, the Supervisor of elections before he does further damage to the reputation of this Federation in the international arena and to our cherished democracy. All Non-Governmental organizations in St Kitts and Nevis, especially the Bar Association, are encouraged to become actively involved in the review and rewriting of our electoral laws such that future elections can be considered democratic, free and fair.” As confirmed by the judge the supervisor has shown that he is not fit to function in such a critically important position in our democracy.”
The Peoples Action Movement has suffered electoral fraud in the two previous elections 2004 and 2010 both of which were conducted by Mr Benjamin. The incidents of fraud included false registration, double voting, voter impersonation, Voter List padding with non residents and overseas visitors. The Nevis elections incorporated many of those wrongs previously practiced against the People’s Action Movement but took the immoral and illegal activities to an unthinkable level with the wholesale removal of previously registered ID Card-holding voters, from the Electoral Voters List in Nevis. This was declared by the Judge to be a blatant disenfranchisement of voters.
Leroy Benjamin was appointed Supervisor of Election prior to the 2004 Elections and has easily since become one of the most controversial figures in the history of St. Kitts-Nevis politics.