Liburd Scoffs At Claims By Opposition Parliamentarian

Barrister At Law Ms. Marcella Liburd

Barrister At Law Ms. Marcella Liburd
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 15, 2009 (CUOPM)

Barrister at law Ms. Marcella Liburd is scoffing at claims by Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #5 (Sandy Point/Fig Tree), Hon. Shawn Richards that his party which has one of three seats on the Opposition Benches was not represented on the Constituencies Boundaries Commission.

In his affidavit to the High Court, Mr. Richards, who was appointed to the Parliamentary Constitutional & Electoral Reform Boundaries Committee, refused to participate in the Electoral Reform Process, which began in August 2006, claimed that there has been no consultation with him on the realignment of the Constituency Boundaries. He also claimed that the theme song played by the Labour Party functions “All 8 Again,” means that the Government is focusing on defeating him at the forthcoming elections, since his constituency is the only one in St. Kitts not represented by the ruling Labour Party.

“Shawn Richards had every opportunity to be involved from day one of the Electoral Reform process and his Party has taken a decision not to take part in the electoral process,” said Liburd, a former Speaker of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.

Ms. Liburd said that the leadership of the People’s Action Movement “is of the view that they have all the rights to run this country as if someone’s left it in a will for them. Once they are not running the country, then they are not taking part in anything.”

Mr. Richards, although pointing out that the appointment of the Constituency Boundaries Commission was in conformity with the 1983 Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis, noted the appointments made by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and further noted that the Nevis Reformation Party is the majority party in the Nevis Island Assembly and the governing party in the Nevis Island Administration and as such exercises a measure of control, and that the Member for Nevis 11 in the National Assembly is the Legal Adviser to the Nevis Island Administration.

Mr. Richards also claims that the theme song “All 8 Again” played at Labour Party functions “means that the Government is focusing on defeating me at the forth coming elections.”

“The People’s Action Movement was invited but refused in writing to take part in this process. And I just want to repeat that the PAM has officially refused, declined an opportunity to be part of this process,” said Chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional and Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor during the presentation of one of the reports.

PAM also refused to name a representative to the National Advisory Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee.

Mr. Richards requested the court to prevent the Constituencies Boundaries Commission from presenting the Report to the Governor General. However by the time the Judge signed the injunction the Report was already presented to the Head of State.

CUOPM points out that Mr. Richards, as the lone People’s Action Movement Parliamentary Representative was appointed to serve on the National Advisory Electoral and Boundaries Committee which also had representation from the St. Kitts Christian Council, the St. Kitts and Nevis Evangelical Associations, the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union, the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St. Kitts Teachers Union, the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association, the Department of Youth, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) and the People’s Action Movement.

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