This means that with immediate effect, Mr. Daniel, who is also the Deputy Leader of the incumbent Nevis Reformation Party, NRP, would have to vacate his seat and all Cabinet positions held by him since the July 11th, 2011 election on the island.
The court also ruled that the losing parties, who include Mr. Daniel, the Election Supervisor, Mr. Leroy Benjamin, and one of his senior staff at the Electoral Office, Ms. Bernadette Lawrence, would have to pay the legal costs of Mr. Mark Brantley, who initially took the matter to court.
When Brantley took the case to court last year, the judge agreed with his argument that due to certain irregularities that resulted in over 200 people not being allowed to vote, the seat declared in favour of Hensley Daniel, in the St. John’s Constituency, must be declared void. However this was appealed by Daniel and the other defendants.
In March this year, the appeal was heard and today Monday 27th August, the judge delivered his final decision squashing the appeal and upholding the earlier decision of the High Court, in favour of Brantley, who ran against Daniel for the seat and was said to have lost by 14 votes with 14 spoilt ballots.
It means therefore that the NRP would have to call a bye-election in Nevis within 90 days. However, some observers have suggested that Premier Joseph Parry may instead call a general election on the island, putting all five seats at risk. Others have even suggested that history may be created, and the entire country of St. Kitts & Nevis, could be in election mode.
What is meant by this is that some pundits are of the view that Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, whose Labour Administration, at the federal level, is closely tied to the NRP, may call a General Election, to be held at the same time of the local island poll; a move that many have advocated for years.
In any case, the political parties in Nevis will be increasing their activities to prepare for whatever poll is held no later than November this year.