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UPDATE: St Kitts & Nevis PM reconvenes Cabinet over Boundaries/ Election quagmire

PM Douglas addressing the nation on Tuesday (Jan. 27) afternoon. Photo: Erasmus Williams
St Kitts & Nevis Observer

The Prime Minister’s admitted deliberate rush to change constituency boundaries, dissolve parliament and call elections appears to have backfired on his Labour Party.

The boundary change proclamation was made simultaneous to the proclamation to dissolve the National Assembly on January 16. The Opposition was granted an injunction meant to restrain the government from making the proclamation. However, on Tuesday (20), Justice Marlene Carter, the judge who granted the order, discharged the injunction on the basis that is was granted well after the proclamation had been made.

While the court was still in session, PM Dr. Denzil Douglas announced he had gotten the writs of election from the Governor General and would be announcing the date of elections that night at a public meeting.

During the session legal counsel for the Opposition revealed they would appeal the judge’s discharge decision and sought to have an order prohibiting the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections from acting on the boundaries proclamation and making any pronouncements about ‘new boundaries’. The Opposition also petitioned for Justice Carter to re-instate the injunction barring the named parties from acting on new boundaries until an injunction hearing could be convened and a definitive declaration made regarding the boundaries.
She declined extending the injunction.

Within an hour, while arguments were being presented, the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary issued a release announcing a February 16th election date and nomination day of February 6th.

On Wednesday Justice Carter adjourned court until Thursday 9am, however the Court of Appeals informed they were scheduling a teleconference hearing with all legal counsel to consider the Opposition’s appeal Thursday morning.

Thursday evening the Court of Appeal imposed an interim injunction barring the government and election officials from taking any action on new boundaries until February 9 when the Appeals Court could hear the substantive matter of the appeal.

Thursday night SKN Labour candidates told supporters at a St. Pauls meeting that the election would proceed on new boundaries. Several posted on their Facebook pages that the new boundaries remain in effect.
There were also inferences that the Court of Appeals, more so Chief Justice Her Ladyship Janice Pereira, was colluding with the Opposition, thus the over-night convening of the hearing.

Nigel Carty, Cabinet Minister for Education prior to the dissolution of parliament wrote, “At the start of this saga I pointed out that I have no confidence in some practitioners of our judiciary. The appeals court has proved me right. I wish to point out a few facts, the Chief Justice is married into the family of the Perieras the Perieras family are founding members of PAM, PAM is a part of this appeal which was hastily heard by the Court of Appeal. The president of the CCJ is Dennis Byron his Brother Vincent Byron is a part of the legal team and advocate for the... decision that was delivered. Consider these facts I can't help but wonder if they are coincidental. I contend that our justice is not on sale to friends of the Periras and Byron Law. The real travesty is that the appeal court seem to want to rewrite our constitution and legislate for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis or worse decide who should govern St. Kitts non of which is bestowed on that institution.”

At 2:45am Friday, the government disseminated a notice that Cabinet had been reconvened. It was also posted to the Prime Minister’s Communication Office website.

“The Federal Cabinet has convened an emergency session to consider the Court of Appeal's decision to halt General Elections after writs issued, Nomination and Election dates set.”

The Observer was informed that the session is still ongoing.

The public debate on whether or not the Prime Minister can ‘un-ring” the bell and change the date of elections has consumed radio talk shows today.

Section 47 (5) of the constitution reads, “If, after a dissolution of Parliament and before the holding of the general election of Representatives, the Prime Minister advises the Governor-General that, because of some matter of urgent national importance, it is necessary to recall Parliament, the Governor-General shall summon the Parliament that has been dissolved to meet, but the general election of Representatives shall proceed and the Parliament that has been recalled shall, if not sooner dissolved, again stand dissolved on the date appointed for the nomination of candidates in that general election.”

See article published January 28, 2015

St. Kitts and Nevis go to the polls on Monday, February 16, 2015




BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – The people of St. Kitts and Nevis will go to the polls on Monday, February 16th 2015. Nomination Day is Friday, February 6th 2015.

In a national broadcast, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said he will present the dates at a political meeting of his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour  Party (SKNLP) this evening (Tuesday, January 27).

He told the Nation that on January 16th 2015, the Governor General, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution acting on “my advice dissolved the National Assembly which now stands dissolved.”

“The dissolution of the National Assembly brings the life of that parliament to an end there must now be General Elections for the purpose of the election of members to serve in the National Assembly.

“Today, the 27th January the Governor General for the purpose of holding of the said elections has issued the relevant writs of Election under the Public Seal addressed to the returning Officers of all the constituencies. By the said writs, it ordered the date set for the Nomination of candidates for each constituency and  the date set for the elections which shall be announced this evening, almost five years to the day, at a public meeting at Best Buy Parking Lot at Buckley’s,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

“I will do so buoyed by the fact that voters expressed their desire to have the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party lead our country in 2010; buoyed by all that Labour has accomplished since; and buoyed by the fact that Labour’s vibrant and inspiring candidates personify such experience and innovation, vitality and wisdom – precisely the winning combination that we, as a nation and a people, must have in order to continue our remarkable march upward,” Dr. Douglas said in a national radio and television broadcast.

“Five years ago, you assigned to the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party a most important responsibility. You assigned to us the complex and demanding task of leading this country. And for this, we thank you.

Indeed, your votes made clear your desire to have the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party fill seventy-five percent of the seats in St. Kitts.  And for that – again – we thank you.  From a position of strength, and not of need, our newly elected Labour Government immediately reached out to the island of Nevis to ensure that they could participate, at the highest levels, in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister.  And for their constructive and collaborative contributions ever since, we all owe them a debt of gratitude,” Prime Minister Douglas said.

He added that from the moment of the election in 2010, his Government has embraced with competence, energy and tenacity, the difficult and complicated responsibilities that running a country entails.

“No-one in our Federation could have known, at the time of our country’s last election that the world would practically spin out of control in years to come, with a global crisis lurching and lumbering ever forward, wreaking havoc in one country after another.  Indeed, today in January 2015, Greece, which had dominated so much of world history, remains in deep social and economic crisis.  And Europe is being described in The Guardian as “a continent of no growth and high unemployment” that has been “plunged into a volatile new era”…….all of this demonstrating how very easy it is for even the most prominent of countries and regions to run off the tracks,” he told viewers and listeners.

“That is what makes all that the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis have been able to achieve, over the past five years, so extraordinary:   In an era of terrifying global mayhem, my Government presented to you our very own economic blueprint to safety, and – though difficult at the time – you rewarded us with your faith.  My Government put forward our specially crafted economic approaches and programs, and you put forward your invaluable cooperation and trust,” the Prime Minister said, adding:

“Today, as a result, we, the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis have created, in the words of the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, “the one bright spot of the Caribbean.”  Together, we produced the highest rate of economic growth in the Eastern Caribbean in 2013, the second highest in Caricom, and are projected to lead all of Caricom in 2014.  We have attracted more foreign direct investment than any of our neighbours; we have provided life-altering and lucrative skills training to thousands of nationals cost-free.”

He also said: “For the first time, long service workers receive a substantial gratuity should they decide to start a new chapter in their lives; fathers are entitled to child support; and Government-provided access to technology has expanded the skills profiles of students and their families alike.  Land for housing and farming has expanded exponentially, and we are now an exporter of agricultural produce to neighbouring countries and territories.  Once a high-debt country, your Government has slashed the nation’s debt in half and the Federation is now the best performing regional nation in terms of meeting  debt to GDP targets – and we are doing so years ahead of schedule. The tiniest nation in a Commonwealth that contains countries as large as India, South Africa, and Australia, the leadership of St. Kitts-Nevis, significantly, was identified by the Commonwealth as the country best equipped to articulate to the world’s leading financial institutions the vision, challenges and aspirations of small states where economic development and debt management are concerned.”

“Fellow Nationals, Residents, you elected my Government in 2010 to demonstrate the validity of our vision and the extent of our capabilities.  And we did.  Not simply in an era of global normalcy, but in an era of grave global crisis and volatility.  My Government, therefore, has been tested in the crucible – and remained strong.  Like the good servant in Matthew, our work has caused the talents of this Federation to expand many-fold……to the lasting benefit of us all. We have given of our very best.  And we are grateful that our best has so positively and dramatically transformed the lives of our country’s men, women, and children – not only for now, but for generations to come,” he said.

“In a matter of weeks, Fellow Nationals, Residents, we will all again participate in that most important of democratic exercises, when, with our “x”,  we will specify exactly which candidate and which political party we wish to assume the leadership of our Federation at this moment in our nation’s history. Fellow Nationals, Residents:  The population sizes in our country’s electoral constituencies have now been adjusted – in an attempt to make them closer to equal. And where we vote in 2015 will be the exact same place we voted in 2010 – in an attempt to make voting a calm and seamless process for all,” the Prime Minister said.

Dr. Douglas said too that this year’s vote is the means by which St. Kitts and Nevis, will determine the course and fate of the Nation.

“Let us, as always therefore, seek God’s guidance and wisdom as we are casting our ballots, in order that we might do so, at that moment, both wisely and well,” he concluded.

10 Responses to “UPDATE: St Kitts & Nevis PM reconvenes Cabinet over Boundaries/ Election quagmire”

  • Concern 1 (28/01/2015, 10:44) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    For example one may live in Cayon,vote in Cayon but vote for Harris or Gilbert instead of Hamilton or Drew. Anyway with the padding up of lists the constituencies will never be equal.Check the final voters list that comes out just before election and the voters list on the day of elections. The people of SKN are seeking a change but the govt continues to stifle democracy. They create so many just come projects and work opportunities just before elections to be taken away or stopped right after the elections. What will happen to the good folks of SKN is that come after election there will be a hike in unemployment ,increase in crime, taxes, electricity,yes cost of living gonna raise drastically. The people have gotten weary of the Douglas Labour Party and their gimmicks a day tricks and badly in need of a change and with the Almighty in this election a change they will get as no election bell shrine from Nigeria gone stop such. The souls of the people of SKN continue to be given to the blood sacrifices for greed and power and we seek divine intervention,so to all go out and vote with your heads and not your hearts and remember to say a little prayer before you make you X.God bless you all
    • Surely! (03/02/2015, 15:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      We in the BVI know your pain. We believe the plans are similar here.
  • Concern 1 (28/01/2015, 11:05) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    This article is well written to make this dictator to look good and the people of SKN continues to suffer,yes suffer from high low income houses bills/mortgages, high electricity, high vat, a contaminated BHS, potholes and craters in the roads causing vehicular accidents and deterioration,high cost of living and the list goes on and on. Only who feeling it can testify to such.Time for a change not only of boundaries but change of govt.
  • vi (28/01/2015, 14:50) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hope the ndp is next to be out
  • ddb (29/01/2015, 11:04) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    FULL CONFIDENCE!!! Find yuh class!
  • Concern 1 (02/02/2015, 13:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I knew some thing like this would have happened.You see hurry doggie eat raw corn. He had no consultation with the opposition what so ever and they were not given a chance to debate on the issue. With so much signs of evil going on with the sign of the beast 666 showing election commission on 16th Jan,nomination day on 6th Feb and election day on 16th Feb and all this bell shrine in a show case to be only rang on the 3 rd day of appearance says a lot of the consultation that seems to be done with the witch doctors.I wish the best for the people of SKN in this upcoming elections.
  • @cart before the horse (02/02/2015, 13:50) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    You may say anything as MOE as you want your govt to retain power or to continue to enrich yourself but you weren't that vocal of the BHS saga of which you too had great responsibility. We say things to suit ourself while in the process there are others been hurt. You and the Duggie cabal know full well the people need a change of not just free give aways but a change in government. Give the people what they want
  • xxxxxxxx (03/02/2015, 03:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    He reminds me of the NDP desperate for power
  • @Concern 1 (03/02/2015, 06:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    You have it wrong ,he dissolved the HOA on the 16th Jan ; Nomination Day 6th Feb and Election Day 16th February .Anyway all end in 666 the mark of the beast and we are hearing of all the evil happening back there but we'll see the outcome on election day as God still sits on his throne and we Will be coming home to make a difference
  • love and blessing (12/02/2015, 11:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder if the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are following what is happening in Antigua and Barbuda? I hope the people of SKN use critical thinking to vote and not quick fixes

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