The date for the early poll was made known on Saturday night, 5th January, 2013, when the Premier of the island delivered an address that was carried live on radio, television and the internet.
Parry said that the date for the poll is Tuesday 22nd January and that the Writs of Elections were filed on Saturday, paving the way for the poll.
Nomination Day will be on Monday 14th January when all 10 candidates, for the two parties combined, are expected to formally offer themselves as candidates. There are five seats up for grabs and currently both the Nevis Reformation Party, NRP, and the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, hold two seats each, with the fifth being declared vacant last year.
The premier stated that the island is in need of strong leadership at this time of its political history. He went on to indicate that he and his party are only interested in serving the people on the island of Nevis, while the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, wants to also help form a coalition government with politicians in St. Kitts.
At present however, one member of the NRP, Patrice Nisbett, who is hoping to defeat Alexis Nisbett for the St. James’s seat, also serves in the federal parliament and Cabinet, as Attorney General, thereby creating a coalition government between Labour and NRP. The NRP has had previous experience in coalition when between 1980 and 1995 they formed a coalition federal government with the now opposition People’s Action Movement, PAM.
There has been much discussion, that with general elections also possible, in St. Kitts and Nevis, shortly after the local poll in Nevis, that a government of National Unity may be established between PAM and at least two members of the Labour party, which now runs the federal government.
Parry said that he is praying for a clean and peaceful election in Nevis and his party will officially kick off its campaign on Monday 7th January, with a public meeting in Brown Pasture.
The courts have had their say and so too the politicians, but now it is the people of Nevis who would have the final say, when the long awaited Nevis Island Elections are held later this month.
All this stems from the 11th July, 2011 elections on Nevis that saw the NRP being declared winner of 3, out of five seats, with the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, winning the other two seats. However, there was a challenge by the CCM’s candidate for the constituency of St. John’s, claiming that due to certain irregularities that disenfranchised over 200 voters, the election should be declared null and void. The matter went to court and the High Court agreed. The NRP Administration appealed but the Appeals Court of the Eastern Caribbean upheld the decision of the lower court; making the seat vacant.
Based on the constitution of the country, this meant that a by-election was required within 90 days but the NRP, close to the expiry of the three month period, had the local assembly dissolved, paving the way for a full island election, instead of one only in St. John’s. The time is running out and now the “bell has been rung” as the people of St. Kitts and Nevis refer to the announcement of a date for a pending election.
Supporters of the NRP are already in campaign mood and have been fancying their party’s chances of another victory but so too are the supporters of the CCM.