According to the CIC statement, “The controversy surrounding the removal of voters from the Voters List and multiple law suits, relating to the voter registration process, highlight, once again, the need for comprehensive electoral reform in St. Kitts & Nevis.”
The Chamber said that the opportunity for such reform was available in 2006, but was not taken. It cautioned, “Controversy will no doubt continue to arise and erode public confidence in the Electoral Process, unless and until the system is radically improved and opportunities for manipulation removed.”
It is the opinion of the private sector body that free and fair elections are a key tenet of a functioning democracy and social stability. Our system is seriously flawed, said the CIC, and they are calling on the government to revisit the system, as matter of priority and on all political parties to cooperate in that effort.
The matter of campaign finance is another subject covered in the CIC release. According to the NGO body, “there is also a dire need for campaign finance legislation. Huge sums are being spent on elections and ultimately, it is the struggling economy which bears the cost. Our democracy continues to be undermined by this inordinate spending.”
The Chamber said that it condemns the attempt by the Supervisor of Elections, in the recent Nevis Elections, to involve the police in the vetting of persons presenting themselves to vote.
They also issued a commendation to the police for refusing to abide by what the Chamber called, “This outrageous and improper directive. This is not a police state. We call for the immediate removal of the Supervisor of Elections.”