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Posted: Thursday 18 October, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Nevisians and CCM call for bi-election NOW… says Amory

Former Premier of Nevis - Hon. Vance Amory
By: Terresa McCall,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – FOLLOWING Premier Joseph Parry’s declaration that the island of Nevis would not go through a bi-election to fill the St. John’s seat, but rather a general election, former Nevis’ Premier Vance Amory stated that by doing so Parry is in direct contravention of the Constitution of the Federation and is prolonging the island’s state of uncertainty and pressure.


    Premier Parry made this pronouncement on his most recent edition of his radio programme ‘In Touch With the Premier’.


    “Many in Nevis, and elsewhere, are thinking the upcoming elections would be a by-election, but let me say that it will be a General Election”, Parry was quoted by his Press Secretary as saying.


    And in a statement issued yesterday (Oct. 17), Amory – the Political Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) – said Parry’s decision is demonstrative of the Nevis Reformation Party’s lack of interest in and its disregard for the people of the island.


    “The ‘ad hoc’ statement by the Hon. Mr. Parry to go the route of an island-wide election, I have been advised, is in contravention of the provisions and intent of Section 48 (2) of the Constitution and does not speak well for the present NRP occupying force and only increases the perception that they do not have the interest of the people of Nevis at heart.


    “It also indicates that they will try everything and anything (and this ad hoc statement is one such thing), thereby imposing more pressure and uncertainty on the society to try to prolong their occupation of their offices...even if the whole country suffers because of the uncertainty and the tension which their illegal action in July 2011 caused over the last 15 months.”




    The island went to the polls on July 11, 2011 and, as a result, the NRP captured three seats and the CCM the remaining two. 


    Prior to that, however, the CCM had cried foul, charging that some 200 names of their supporters were illegally removed from the Voters’ List of the St, John’s Constituency.


    That seat was contested by the CCM’s Mark Brantley and the NRP’s Hensley Daniel and was won by the latter by 14 votes.


    Following the election, an election petition was filed in the court, at the end of which the Nevis Circuit Court found that the then Senior Registration Officer – Pastor Leroy Benjamin – and the then Registration Officer for the St. John’s Constituency – Bernadette Lawrence – failed to execute their duties in accordance with the law thereby bringing about effecting a skewed result at the polls.


    Appeals against that decision were heard by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) and it upheld the decision of the lower court and also ruled that the 200-plus voters whose names were removed from the list were denied their right to vote.


    It also declared that Daniel’s election to office was null and void.


    Shortly after that decision was read, Daniel resigned as Deputy Premier in the Nevis Island Administration and both Benjamin and Lawrence vacated their offices.


    The way forward


    The way forward, according to Amory, is a by-election so that the will of the people could be executed.


    “The people of Nevis cannot feel satisfied with this "ad hoc" decision by Mr. Parry, and I expect that this would be revisited within the next 18 days which is the time limit to give effect to the ninety days limit as prescribed by the Constitution to give effect to the filling of the null and void vacant seat in Nevis 2. 


    “I am certain the people of Nevis will be ready and will vote out this most incompetent and obviously corrupt and illegal NRP junta and restore decency and good governance to the people of Nevis should there be any other time line for an election. I do believe Mr. Parry and those other persons responsible for the contrary decision will have questions to answer.


    “The people and my party want the election NOW!!”


    Premier Parry – however – in providing an explanation for his decision for a general election to be held as opposed to a by-election, noted that “a general election is an election that determines the direction of the country. No one seat can determine that. It is too important. The issue of who runs the country, who gives direction to the country, who carries the ball further cannot be decided by a by-election”.


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