PAM Leader – Mr. Lindsay Grant
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
People’s Action Movement
March 02, 2010
The clarion call for a proper overhaul of the electoral system by the People’s Action Movement and its Leader Lindsay Grant involving a complete enumeration and re-registration of voters has now been echoed by Premier Joseph Parry, as well as Opposition Leader Mark Brantley.
In an interview with WINN FM’s Toni Frederick, Premier Parry indicated that he was in full support of the Commonwealth Report’s recommendation of a fresh enumeration and voter re-registration.
“I think it is a fantastic idea and I am very supportive of it. Let me say I did not realize that (complete enumeration and re-registration of voters) was recommended but I have no objection because all kinds of persons have gotten their way on to our list here in Nevis. We need to clean it up, we definitely need to clean it up,” said Premier Parry
This recommendation by the Commonwealth report mirrors that of the People’s Action Movement who has been advocating discarding the voters list with a view of starting anew with a complete enumeration and re-registration process.
Leader of the Opposition Mark Brantley also supported the Commonwealth’s and People’s Action Movement’s Leader Lindsay Grants long voiced recommendation that an enumeration and re-registration is paramount for the basis of an efficient, free and fair electoral process.
“I feel we can now with some deliberate speed set about a complete re-registration, a complete enumeration process. Let us go into the neighborhoods and the communities and find people and register them right then and there. I feel that that is the only logical way. the mere fact that we are having this level of debate and on a “reformed” electoral system tells us that the reform was an abysmal failure whatever its intentions might have been it has failed and with those circumstances we must now go back and ensure we do a complete new exercise,” said St. Kitts-Nevis Opposition Leader Mark Brantley.
People’s Action Movement Leader Lindsay Grant further reiterated and emphasized his party’s displeasure with the current electoral system.
“There ought never to have been a reconfirmation system. We should have had an entire system where you have everybody registering anew. That is what was required in the system, said People’s Action Movement Leader Grant.
The Commonwealth Expert Team presented numerous recommendations in their official and final February 19 Report after observing the electoral process here in our Federation. The enumeration of voters in St. Kitts-Nevis was the most significant and controversial issue raised by the Report.
In short, their conclusion: a total and mandatory re-registration of the electoral system. This is a vindication of the People’s Action Movement’s primary position on Electoral Reform. The people of St. Kitts and Nevis are bestowed with the constitutionally enshrined right to free, fair and free from fear elections. It stands to reason that this can only be achieved with a voter registration system that accurately represents the composition of inhabitants within each constituency.
With further detail, the Commonwealth Expert Team expressly recommends that “a system of complete re-registration should be explored. The Team recognizes that considerable resources have been expended on the printing of the National Identification Card and that some may have to be reprinted for those voters who may be required to register in the constituency in which they reside. It may also entail the amendment of electoral Regulations to clarify and strengthen the residency requirements.”