Chairperson for the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Ms. Marcella Liburd has said she does not believe Mr. Vincent Byron Jr. should have been appointed as the minister responsible for the electoral office.
Mr. Byron currently serves as the St. Kitts and Nevis Attorney General.
Ms. Liburd highlighted that she believes there is a conflict of interest, as Mr. Byron serves as both Attorney General and the minister responsible for the Electoral Office.
She said that the position of Attorney General is that of chief legal advisor to the government. The responsibilities include ensuring no injustice exists for the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The minister responsible for the Electoral Office must report irregularities and breaches taking place in office.
As both positions are currently held by Mr. Byron, Ms. Liburd has asked “where does one go to when there are irregularities?” when it is the same person making the enquiry and responding.
Conflict of interest?
Ms. Liburd has further suggested the Electoral Commission for St. Kitts and Nevis is not properly constituted.
“It should consist of three persons. Presently there are just two – the chairman, appointed by the Governor General in his own deliberate judgement; and the other person is in this case, lawyer Mr. Jason Hamilton, who was appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.”
She alleges that the Electoral Commission does not hold meetings, which are intended to be used as a time to perform the duty of managing the Supervisor of Election’s performance of his duties.
“Our representative Mr. Hamilton has been complaining for months that there has been no meetings of the Electoral Commission and has written several letters on this matter and all he has received in response is abuse from the chairman, Mr. Nasibou Butler. Mr. Butler claims he is having meetings, but Mr. Hamilton is not aware of those meetings. It is either Mr. Butler is having meetings with himself or with other persons who are not members of the commission,” said Ms. Liburd.
The SKNLP has called on Mr. Elvin Bailey, who is the supervisor of elections, to publish al revised monthly lists of voters that have become due for publication after February 2015.
Mr. Bailey has been previously accused of illegally removing the names of Nigerian students, Commonwealth citizens and nationals from the St. Kitts and Nevis voters list.
The Nevis Reformation Party has also accused the Supervisor of Elections and the Electoral Commission of apparent clandestine attempts to disenfranchise voters and has suggested they may proceed with legal action.