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Posted: Thursday 13 September, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Has Bernadette Lawrence resigned?

Bernadette Lawrence
By: Terresa McCall,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – RUMOURS are abundant that Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence has tendered her resignation from that post. However, the task of pinning down official confirmation seems to be more difficult than dealing with an aching tooth.


    Unofficial sources disclosed to SKNVibes that Lawrence – who has served as Registration Officer for the Nevis Constituency of St. John’s – tendered her resignation sometime this week.


    This publication has made several attempts to ascertain the authenticity of this rumour, but is none the wiser after making contact with a number of officials attached to the electoral process.


    Contact was made with Oliver Knight – Manager of the Electoral Office in St. Kitts – and his response to questions about Lawrence’s resignation was that queries might be better answered by Head of the Electoral Commission Hesketh Benjamin.


    And after SKNVibes contacted and subsequently visited Benjamin’s office, he explained that questions relative to the matter should be asked of Knight. And even after being informed that Knight directed this media house to speak with him, Benjamin maintained that he hadn’t had all the information and that Knight was the bearer of the relevant file.


    Again, contact was made with Knight and Benjamin’s utterances were relayed to him. It was then that he informed, “I haven’t any authority to divulge anything.”


    The Electoral Office in Nevis was also contacted and this media house requested dialogue with the manager. The female who answered did not indicate who she was or what position she holds, but she lend an ear to the reporter who contacted the office.


    No sooner than the reporter had finished reciting her name and place of employment, the individual interjected that she could not answer any questions.


    Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement the Honourable Mark Brantley, when contacted by this publication, indicated that he too has been advised that Lawrence resigned from the post of Registration Officer.


    He said the CCM is relieved but explained that if the Federation neglects to learn invaluable lessons from the difficulties which the actions of persons such as Lawrence have created, it would have suffered in vain.


    “Well, we are relieved that that chapter has ended but we are certain because it was able to get to that stage in Nevis. And if only people who are prepared to do their duty under the law, Nevis would not find itself now in the very chaotic state that it is in.


    “The damage done by people like Bernadette Lawrence wasn’t just to the CCM, it was to the entire public, it was to confidence in our democracy and confidence in our island, it has damaged the investor climate, it has created some serious, serious problems which go far beyond the dishonesty displayed. And so while we are happy that she has finally gone from our process, we believe that the only true value is to learn lessons from what happened and to pray and hope that Nevis and St. Kitts never again have to experience such a dark period.”


    If indeed Lawrence has resigned, it comes just weeks after Pastor Leroy Benjamin vacated the post of Supervisor of Election. And both come following scathing judgment passed by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the Nevis Election Petition Appeal Case, holding that both acted with bias, bad faith and failed to properly execute their duties as prescribed by law.


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