St. Kitts – Nevis Prime Minister – Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 17, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas stopped short of announcing a date for the next general elections, saying it will be determined by the readiness of the country and the institutions that support the democratic electoral process.
Prime Minister Douglas also said that the Report from the Electoral Boundaries Commission was on its way to the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.
“I am not walking around with the date of the next election in my back pocket as some people think. The date is being properly determined based on the readiness of the country and the readiness of the institutions that will support the elections. These are serious national elections. They are critical and they must be pursued in all serious,” said Dr. Douglas in response to a question from the media during his monthly press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that the Electoral Boundaries Commission was doing its works. “It has had several meetings. I understand that the Parliament is now waiting on the Commission’s Report. I believe that the Report is on its way and as soon as it is within our sights, it will be determined and we shall proceed,” said the Prime Minister.
Dr. Douglas reiterated that the Electoral Commission is the body that has been constitutionally named and appointed to pursue the final stages of electoral reform and that includes the re-visiting of the boundaries.
“I believe that what the constitution says that guides the process is important. I believe that once one looks at the number of inhabitants at the constituency level and the other factors which are mentioned in the constitution as well as the breadth of experience and knowledge of the Technical Committee that was named to carry out the original analysis and guide the Commission’s work with their report; when one looks at the extensive nature of that report, which to a large extent summarises their extensive work that has been done, I believe that we are going to get a good and reliable report from the Commission of Parliament,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
The five-member Electoral Boundaries Commission has been appointed by the Governor General, His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian. The Chairman has been appointed by the Governor General following consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Two members are appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and two members on the recommendations of the Leader of the Opposition.
The Electoral Reform process which started in August 2007 has resulted in a number of changes to the electoral laws and a new Voters List.