Commonwealth Observer Mission Election Report Draws Attention

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 08, 2010 (CUOPM)

The St. Kitts and Nevis Cabinet is to play close attention to the recommendations coming out of the Commonwealth Observer Mission’s Report following the January 25th 2010 General Elections.

Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said that Cabinet Ministers at the recent Cabinet Meeting recently discussed the need to further improve the electoral system, reflecting on their Election Day experiences as well as on the recent spate of objections by opposition parties to the registration of persons in several constituencies.

Minister Carty said that Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, who has responsibility for Electoral Matters, has promised that the Report from the Commonwealth Observer Mission’s Report will be discussed at a subsequent meeting of Cabinet and emphasised the need to pay close attention to its recommendations.

“In relation to concerns pertaining to Election Day, the need was identified to have more manageable numbers of voters in some polling stations. This may require the creation of more polling booths in some locales,” Minister Carty disclosed.

He said that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration reaffirmed its commitment to further improving the Electoral System and working with those in the opposition to achieve this worthy objective.

Minister Carty also said Cabinet Members contended in particular that objections should not be made against persons who have been registered a long time ago and who had gone through an initial phase of objections before their names were certified to be on the register of voters.

He said Cabinet was nonetheless informed that most of the objections made had been eventually withdrawn.

“This practice of frivolous objections, it was concluded, undermines the right to remain registered and the right to vote in the elections. This is particularly worrying for overseas voters who may not be on island to defend themselves against the objections. Such persons may incur great expense to travel home to vote on Election Day only to recognise then that the mischief of the system has long disenfranchised them,” said Minister Carty.

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