Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 17, 2008 (CUOPM)
The Supervisor of Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis is reporting that 238 persons registered as new voters and 2,337 confirmed their registration during the month of February.
Mr. Leroy Benjamin also disclosed that between December 17th 2007 and February 29th 2008, 5,169 persons confirmed their names on the Voters List, while there were a total of 559 new registrations for the same period.
He said that the Confirmation Lists were delivered to all political parties in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis last Friday 14th March 2008.
The Supervisor of Elections also released a breakdown of the Confirmation and New Registrations by Constituency and Polling Division for the period 27th December 2007 to February 29th 2008.
Of the 11 constituencies on St. Kitts and Nevis, Constituency 2 on St. Kitts led with 319 confirmations followed by Constituency #7 with 318 during the month of February.
There were 282 confirmations in Constituency #1, compared to 388 during December and January; 319 in Constituency #2 compared to 535 in December and January; 129 in Constituency #3, compared to 202 during December and January; 167 in Constituency #4, compared to 224 during December and January; 175 in Constituency #5, compared to 212 during December and January; 171 in Constituency #6, compared to 158 during December and January; 318 in Constituency #7 compared to 232 during December to January; 263 in Constituency #8, compared to 361 during December and January; 279 in Constituency #9 compared to 311 during December and January; 91 in Constituency #10 compared to 97 during December to January and 143 in Constituency #11 compared to 112 during December to January.
The Supervisor of Elections is also reporting a total of 80 new registrations in Constituency #1; 62 in Constituency #2; 52 in Constituency #3; 47 in Constituency #4; 33 in Constituency #5; 58 in Constituency #6; 52 in Constituency #7; 67 in Constituency #8; 65 in Constituency #9; 16 in Constituency #10 and 27 new registrations in Constituency #11 since the process began on December 27th up to February 29th.
The electoral reform process is expected to result in a new Voters List, a national indentification 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.
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.