PAM to take stern political action if Benjamin doesn’t resign
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – WHILE the Supervisor of Elections, Pastor Leroy Benjamin, seems too busy to provide a comment on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s scathing remarks about his and one of his officers’ conduct leading to and during the July 2011 Local Elections in Nevis, action is being taken with the hope of having him removed from that office.
Monday (Aug. 27) saw the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) handing down its decision in the Nevis Election Petition Appeal Case in which it sternly indicated that not only was the election of Nevis Reformation Party’s Hensley Daniel not legally elected to the St. John’s seat, but also that Benjamin and Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence had engaged in disenfranchisement of voters, misfeasance and were biased in their decisions and actions.
Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) Mark Brantley, who lost the St. John’s seat to Daniel by 14 votes, had indicated – following the court’s ruling - that he felt vindicated and that justice had prevailed.
Brantley was congratulated on his victory by Eugene Hamilton – one of the two Deputy Leaders of the Action Movement – who also categorised it as vindication of the PAM’s position held over the years concerning Benjamin and what they describe as his lack of integrity and transparency.
“The Appeal Court has spoken and the Honourable Mark Brantley has triumphed, and the PAM wishes to place on record its congratulations to the Honoruable Mark Brantley.”
According to Hamilton, the PAM has “wrestled with the office of the Supervisor of Elections and his staff over a period of years” concerning the conduct of the Federation’s elections and views the court’s condemnation of Benjamin’s actions as “vindication of our position advocated over several years”.
The PAM has been one of the groups that have called for the resignation of Benjamin from the office of Supervisor of Elections following the 2004 General Elections and, moreso, following the 2010 General Elections.
In repeating its call for the Supervisor of Elections to resign or be stripped of his duties, Hamilton informed that the PAM would be taking “stern political action” should this not take place.
“We of the PAM therefore reiterate our call for the resignation of the Supervisor of Elections. We have called for his resignation on several occasions before and we are still disturbed that his tenure as Supervisor of Elections, even after publically referring to the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, the Honourable Mark Brantley as a liar, we expected him to do the honourable thing and resign. We believe that the person appointed to the office of Supervisor of Election should conduct himself or herself transparently and with the highest degree of integrity…virtues that have been shattered by the decision of the Appeal Court.
“We would be sending a letter to the Governor General asking him to dismiss him as Supervisor of Election, and if that fails we would take stern political action.”
Hamilton expressed his firm view that “should he have any decency left in him after all of this, he would resign! I believe it is time for him to stay at home for a little bit, reflect upon what transpired and let the Christian training in him make him think a bit more, become more humble and more concerned about the way people think about the entire situation”.
SKNVibes made contact with Pastor Benjamin seeking a comment on the Appellate Court’s scathing comments. However, the reporter only got as far as identifying herself before Benjamin interrupted, saying, “No conversation about anything right now. I am engaged right now…If it is anything that has to do with the case, I can’t talk to you about that right now.”