PM Douglas Objects to Charges of Electoral Interference in Nevis

Opposition forces on the island have for months challenged various developments which they categorize as being inconsistent with the constitution and electoral laws but according to them, there has been very little effort by the competent authorities who are charged with such responsibilities, to take the appropriate actions to prevent fraud and breaches of the relevant laws and regulations.

Some of the allegations have claimed that the injustices have been allowed to take place with the support of some political figures within the Federal Government, the ruling Labour Party and the Electoral Office itself.

In a recent response to the latest charges, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas, used his weekly radio program, on national radio ZIZ, to reject claims that he alleged were made by the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and candidate in the upcoming Nevis elections, Mr. Mark Brantley, that he (Douglas), was in Nevis last Thursday 27th May, for a secret meeting with Premier of Nevis and leader of the incumbent Nevis Reformation Party, NRP, Mr. Joseph Parry.

The Prime Minister in his comments on Tuesday 31st May, 2011, however labeled the claim as “a deliberate, malicious statement to undermine the (electoral) system.”ccm-march-11

Douglas stated that Brantley made the statement at a rally in Charlestown Thursday night, after a public march organized by the (CCM) to protest alleged flaws in the voter registration process.

In denying that he had a secret meeting with the Premier, the Prime Minister said that he had travelled to Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday 26th May to attend his son’s graduation ceremony at Harvard University.

In response to a contribution made by a caller to the radio program, the Prime Minister described the charge as  a deliberate, malicious attempt to put him in a bad light to involve him into matters of the Nevis Island local elections and that he found it very, very disturbing that the Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament could make such a malicious public statement which he knows is a lie and is trying to put him, (Douglas), in a bad light simply because it would appear he, (Brantley), is under extreme pressure from the electorate in Nevis.”

The Prime Minister repeated his rejection by stating, “I am not engaged in any way with the electoral exercises in Nevis. I carry out my specific functions as the Prime Minister under whose portfolio the electoral system to some extent falls. I do not show any partisan involvement. I have to work with both parties in Nevis. I have to work with the CCM. I worked with the CCM Government of the past and I now work with the current NRP Government that is currently in power. I do not get involved in the partisan politics of the people of Nevis. I am here in every way to ensure that we have a fair and determined effort to elect for the people of Nevis their own Government.”

Dr. Douglas also stated that the Labour Party “is not involved in any way in the electoral politics of Nevis.”

“As leader of the party, I have not given any sanction, I have not encouraged any element within the Labour Party that I have the opportunity to lead at this time, to become involved in the politics of Nevis,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Members and supporters of the opposition Concerned Citizens Movement in Nevis however, have reacted to the Prime Minister by stating that the only person who may believe that both the Federal Government and the Labour Party are not interfering in the Nevis elections, is the Prime Minister himself.

 

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