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Opposition Leader Not Happy With Inaction of Governor General

Subsequent to that ruling, both the Senior Elections Registration Officer for Nevis and the Supervisor of Elections for St. Kitts and Nevis have been forced to resign, after the same court harshly criticised their actions that led to over 200 people being denied the right to vote, in the 2011 island election in Nevis.

The call for the by-election to be held sooner, rather than later, has been repeated by many political observers but more so by the opposition party in Nevis, the Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM.

Now the CCM Deputy Leader, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament, Mark Brantley, is expressing frustration and disappointment that the steps to appoint a new Supervisor of Election and the required procedures to call the by-election, are taking much too long. Just over 2 months remain before the deadline for the poll, as was stipulated on 27th August, 2012, when the court made known its ruling in the Nevis election Petition case that was brought to court by Mr. Brantley.

Brantley on Tuesday stated that his party has gone twice to meet with the Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, to apprise him of what is happening in Nevis and to convince him of the urgency to take action. They have also written to His Excellency, said Brantley, but there has been absolutely no movement up to date.

He stated that it is astonishing, that with 90 days to call an election, no date for the poll has been announced as yet, and the position of Supervisor of Elections still remains vacant.

Brantley also went on to explain that they in the opposition, have made recommendations as to who they feel can fill that position, (Supervisor of Election), though the Governor General does not require recommendations from anyone. Brantley revealed that this is one of those decisions that the Governor General can take in his own deliberate judgement, though he has to consult with the Premier of Nevis, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, and the Leader of the Opposition.

“We cannot, for the life of us, understand why these critical matters of national importance seem not to attract the attention they ought to attract. Now the result of all that, is that I can tell you the mood in Nevis is foul; the people in Nevis are agitated, the people are frustrated and are angry,” Brantley said.

He said that the CCM have continued to call for calm and appeal to do what is best for the island and pleaded for Nevisian not to descend to the “bottle and stones” and violence like what happened in St. Kitts in 1993, when there was a tie of 4 seats each in St. Kitts, following the federal elections that also saw NRP winning one and CCM 2 seats, in the 11 member National Assembly.cuthvs

“Let us not take that low road, let us rather try to preserve the peace and tranquillity, but while we are trying to do that, the institutions of state continue to fail the people (of Nevis),” he added.

Brantley claimed the people of Nevis are saying that they have been failed by the electoral system, the Supervisor of Elections and the Registration Officer, whom a court has now found, are more interested in propping up a political party, than in doing their job. The Prime Minister, who when he could have intervened to provide some guidance, as Minister of Elections, said he agreed with the Supervisor of Elections, to defy the Electoral Commission.

“We continue to be failed by each and every institution, and the people of Nevis are understandably concerned. Now we have the Governor General… why is he refusing to act? Why has there been no statement from him, in light of this unprecedented crisis that we face here in Nevis?

It was Brantley who contested the 11th July, 20122 poll in the St. John’s Constituency, Nevis against Mr. Hensley Daniel of the Nevis Reformation Party, NRP. Daniel was declared the winner by 14 votes, which the court later ruled was null and void, because of the massive irregularities that occurred leading up to the election.

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