St. Kitts – Nevis Electoral Offices
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 2008 (CUOPM)
Residents qualified to vote were making sure Monday that they meet Tuesday’s deadline to confirm their names on current Voters List.
Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday long lines of persons confirming that their names are on the current list, registering for the first time having attained 18 years of age and meeting the necessary qualification or picking up their National Identification Cards were maintained throughout the day outside the Electoral Office on Central Street in Basseterre.
The deadline for the Voter Confirmation Exercise which began on December 27th 2007 is September 30th 2008.
The electoral reform process, which began two years ago, is expected to result in a new Voters List, a national identification card and the introduction of a photo id when registering for the first time.
In August 2006, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis presented a White Paper in the lawmaking body outlining the process for electoral reform and the preferred steps through which consultation with stakeholders and implementation of electoral reform will result in a legally reformed electoral system.
The White Paper noted that through proper consultation with all social groups, political parties, and the general public, the Government will ensure that these reforms guarantee that future elections in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to be free and fair and in keeping the democratic and constitutional rights, these reforms will not disenfranchise any voter as the reforms seek to introduce a modern and efficient electoral system.
Government had reviewed the report of the “˜Commonwealth Expert Team’ on the general elections of 2004, the Report of the “˜CARICOM Observers’ of the general elections of 2004, and the Report of the “˜Commonwealth Assessment Mission’ of 2005, and based on the commitment given in the St. Kitts – Nevis Labour Party 2000 Election manifesto, pursued the proposed reforms, leading to the modernisation of the electoral process.
Several committees were established and a comprehensive national consultation was put in motion.
The Electoral Reform Consultative Committee (ERCC) conducted national consultations with all stakeholders around St. Kitts and Nevis and with nationals residing in Anguilla, St. Maarten/St. Martin, the United States Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom about the proposed new electoral framework and sent its report directly to the National Advisory Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee (NAERBC), which after extensive discussions sent its own report to the Parliamentary Constitutional & Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee, which is a National Assembly Sub-Committee.
After considering the report from the Electoral Reform and Boundaries Committee, the Report was sent to the Attorney General’s Chamber for forwarding to a drafting expert in Barbados.
Since the passage of the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2007, which has had public scrutiny, several amendments have been made.
Confirmation exercises were also carried out at designated Confirmation Cenrtes in Anguilla, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and around both St. Kitts and Nevis.
There was no public discussion by the then People’s Action Movement (PAM) of former Prime Minister Dr. the Right Hon. Kennedy Simmonds when electoral reform was undertaken in 1984.