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Posted: Thursday 30 August, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Premier Parry says Bernadette Lawrence should resign

Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence and Premier Joseph Parry
By: Stanford Conway,

    Parry assumes Hensley Daniel portfolios


    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – NEVIS’ Premier the Hon. Joseph Parry today (Aug. 30) said that Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence should resign in light of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s rulings on the Nevis Election Petition case that evoked criticisms from a number of social and political groups as well as prominent individual in the Federation.


    Speaking with Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, host of WINN FM’s call-in show, Voices, Premier Parry said, “If I were Mrs. Lawrence I would resign, not because I feel I would have done anything wrong but because I think she has been beaten up enough…unnecessarily so, but that has been the case. And I understand that Mr. Brantley is calling for the resignation of the Supervisor of Elections. That will be the Supervisor of Elections call and that will be Mrs. Lawrence’s call as well, and the point I want to make is, if they resign now the situation is complicated even further. And so it will sort itself out over the next days, weeks…”


    Parry noted that Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizen’s Movement (CCM) the Hon. Mark Brantley is calling for an election within 21 days, but he stated that there would be none within that time frame.


    “Mr. Brantley has called for election in 21 days and, at the same time, he has called for the resignation of these two people. I would like to see how that works! But there will be no election in 21 days anyway.”


    In defence of Lawrence’s actions leading up to the 2011 Local Elections, Parry said he was in support of the Registration Officer because she was advised and she would only do what is right.


    “I know exactly how Mrs. Lawrence conducts herself. Mrs. Lawrence was advised by a lawyer, and everything she did she was advised by a lawyer; she did nothing on her own. Mrs. Lawrence is the kind of person…and she would only do what she thinks is right. She would not do anything for me just because it’s me; she would never do that.”


    However, when asked by Liburd to comment on the scathing remarks the court made about the Supervisor of Elections, Pastor Leroy Benjamin, he refrained from doing so.


    “The court has its work to do and the court has done its work. I don’t wish to comment too much on the court, I don’t want to be trying the court now. All I’ll tell you is that what has been happening in Nevis for the past two years has been happening for 30 years…maybe 40 years.”


    Meanwhile, Premier Parry has assumed the portfolios held by his Deputy Hensley Daniel, who had tendered his resignation hours after the verdict in the Nevis Election Petition Appeal case was handed down on Monday (Aug. 27).


    In addition to his functions, Parry now holds responsibility for Health, Gender Affairs, Social Development, Youth and Sports, Community Affairs, Trade and Industry, Licensing Unit and Culture.


    According to a release from his Press Secretary, during an interview with the Department of Information yesterday, Premier Parry said that Mr. Daniel was in good spirits and had already hit the campaign trail in St. John’s Constituency, which he has represented so ably since July 2006.


    He said he is anxiously awaiting the election bell.


    The release noted that Premier Parry declared that he needed the “action minister” in his government and with confidence said, “Whenever the election is called Mr. Daniel and the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) will be ready.”


    He described as erroneous the allegations being peddled by some misguided and self-serving people that there is no government in Nevis. But he has however assured residents and citizens on the island that the Nevis Reformation Party-led Administration is in government and would remain there to govern the affairs of Nevis until the appropriate time.


    Alluding to the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis which prescribes that once a seat is vacated, elections must be held within 90 days, Parry said, “Let us debunk the thought that there is no government in Nevis. There is a government that the people elected, and no political party can force the government to call elections before they are ready”.
    He called on the people of Nevis of all political persuasions to conduct themselves professionally and said that the CCM and Mark Brantley, in particular, must not be allowed to intimidate by doing or saying things to cause confusion on the island.


    “The CCM simply want power, they have not told the people of Nevis what their plans are for moving Nevis forward, and that is most important for the way forward for Nevis,” Premier Parry added.


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