Nevis Calm Again After Tuesday’s Election Petition Hearing

This was the decision of the new judge appointed to the case, Justice Mario Michel of St. Lucia; who at short notice had to be assigned to the case, due to the illness of the previously appointed judge, Justice Hariprashad –Charles.

On Tuesday, 22nd November, the new dates for the hearing were confirmed as 16th to 27th January, 2012.

Though some preliminary matters were heard in Chambers by Justice Michel on Tuesday afternoon, most of the substantive matters would have to await the January hearing.

One important feature of the case to come, is the submission by the Supervisor of Elections, of the official Voters List that was used for the July 11th 2011, Island Election Poll in Nevis, that saw the NRP being declared winner of three of the five seats available.crowdd

The main contention of the petition before the court relates to charges that over 200 properly registered voters were illegally removed from the Voters List and therefore denied the opportunity to exercise their franchise to cast their ballots in the election.

The Parish of St. John seat that saw a close contest between NRP’s Hensley Daniel, who now serves as Deputy Premier and CCM’s Mark Brantley, the Deputy Leader of the CCM, is being asked to be declared vacant by CCM.

Brantley was said to have lost the election by some 14 votes. Coincidentally there were also 14 spoilt ballots that were declared in the final count of the constituency.

CCM is essentially asking the court to declare the election of Mr. Daniel null and void, with the possibility perhaps of a new poll being held for that district. If this is allowed however, there seems to be some uncertainty about the status of the present Island Administration, given that the balance of power rests with the constituency now held by Deputy Premier Daniel.poolicce

Since the elections back in the summer, the CCM has been on a steady campaign to demand fairness and justice through the court system.

However, despite the excitement in the island and on the streets on Tuesday, Charlestown was calm again on Wednesday.

The crowds from both parties were no more to be found and the large contingent of police was back in the barracks.

It is a case that will continue to occupy the attention of the public in both St. Kitts and Nevis.

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