Deafening Silence From Election Commission Continues In St. Kitts/Nevis

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Supervisor-of-Elections-Mr.-Wingrove-George
Supervisor of Elections in St. Kitts/Nevis, Mr. Wingrove George.

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, CHARLESTOWN, Nevis, Tues. Feb. 17, 2015 – 3 pm. EST: A deafening silence continues here in the birth place of Alexander Hamilton on the island of Nevis, West Indies, as nationals continue to await the official results of Monday’s federal elections.

Premier of Nevis, Vance Amory has declared a holiday resulting in most businesses in Charlestown and across the country being closed and nationals staying at home.

But anxious supporters of the ruling Concerned Citizens Movement – ready to celebrate – congregated peacefully in some spots in the city proudly donning their party colors yet heeding their leader’s call to stay calm.

Many say they are unsure what to do – to celebrate or not – since a noon deadline announced for official election results announcement has been missed. But the opposition Team Unity, of which the CCM is a part, along with the Peoples Action Movement and the People’s Labor Party, insist they have swept the elections and ended the 20-year reign of Dr. Denzil Douglas and his St. Kitts Labor Party government.

The country’s supervisor of elections, Wingrove George, had earlier this morning told ZIZ radio he would release the results by noon today. But at 3 p.m. EST Caribbean time, ZIZ continued to announce they were still awaiting the results from the election held across the country in 11 constituencies Monday.

George has been so far criticized by several civic groups who have threatened legal action could follow if the results continue to be delayed. Even St. Vincent & the Grenadines prime minister, has weighed in, urging George to release the results.

Sources told NAN exclusively this morning that from a voter tally witnessed by their agents, that the opposition coalition, Team Unity, had unofficially secured the 7 of the 11 seats needed to form the government.

However, the only declared seats so far are those of Premier Armory and Labor Party MP and minister, Marcella Liburd.

Amory easily retained his seat in the federal parliament for Constituency 10 over newcomer Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) candidate, Cory Tyson, by 754 votes to 306, respectively.

Liburd won a closely contested race in Central Basseterre (Constituency 2) over People’s Action Movement (PAM) candidate and newcomer, Jonel Powell, 1,775 to 1,643

In Nevis Constituency number 9, Mark ‘The Sherrif’ Brantley, the island’s deputy premier and also of the CCM Party, looks set to retain his seat, as he led NRP’s candidate and former Housing Minister, Robelto Hector, 763-673.

Patrice Nisbett of the Nevis Reformation Party in Nevis and a senator in the St. Kitts Labor Party government of Douglas, was locked in a battle with Alexis Jeffers of the CCM and a minister in the Nevis Island administration.

In St. Kitts Team Unity’s Prime Ministerial candidate and People’s Labor Party candidate, Dr. Timothy Harris looked set to win his seat in Constituency 7 while PAM’s Eugene Hamilton also looked set to win.

In Constituency number 1, Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd has reported beating SKLP’s Asim Martin while PAM’s Lindsay Grant has said he is the winner in Constituency #4.

But there is still no official word on these constituencies.

Not a single vote was released in Constituency #5 where PAM leader Shawn Richards had faced off against SKLP’s Norgen Wilson. But sources tell NAN Richards was the winner by 334 votes.

Reports of electoral list errors and voter disenfranchisement in Monday’s election in St. Kitts/Nevis were widespread even as claims of polling stations staying open way beyond the 6 p.m. closing time to allow overseas voters being brought in by the ruling party and the NRP in Nevis on chartered flights to vote, surfaced.

Kittians and Nevisians were flown in on chartered jets from the U.S., Canada and across the Caribbean by all sides to increase the voter tally at the ballot boxes.

The lead up to the election had been fraught with legal battles over a hastily pushed through electoral boundaries change by the government that was subsequently overturned by the UK Privy Council.

This as parties hammered each other on the campaign trail and Dr. Douglas dubbed himself ‘ten man in one’ while entering his own ‘unity’ contract with the opposition NRP party in Nevis.

Several Jamaican singers were also thrown in the mix to sing their way into the hearts of swing votes while a Labor candidate announced to Nevis supporters he had “one shot for the Sherriff,” as the CCM’s Brantley is affectionately called.

Opposition parties also complained of receiving the voter’s list hours before the election and of seeing a new list on Monday morning that resulted in several voters being unable to find their names on the list and being unable to vote. They also complained of discrepancies surrounding of the early voting done by emergency workers on Saturday.

 

 

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