BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 3rd July 2020) – The Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) is challenging, at the high court level, issues surrounding the 6 out of 8 seats lost in the 2020 general elections- conducted on Friday 5th June- with hopes that evidence of alleged bribery and other proof will see either the party’s candidates appointed or another go at the polls for voters.
On Friday 26th June, the party filed the six petitions for Constituencies Two, Three, Four, Five, Seven and Eight as Constituencies Six and Two were won.
SKNLP Leader and former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, who is the elected Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Six, gave remarks outside the courthouse (The Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial Complex) located on East Independence Square Street in Basseterre, indicating that included in evidence found is that of massive bribery.
“We have found from the evidence that there was massive corruption, there was inducement, there was bribery in a massive way. Assets of the government, assets belonging to you the people used to bribe the electorate-the voters- as to vote for them.”
Dr. Douglas spoke while surrounded by his seven colleagues of the all-eight team and party supporters.
He added: “These are serious matters that we believe could have affected the outcome of the elections and thus we are asking the court to look at the evidence, look at the petitions of our candidates and determine whether or not those who were returned were fairly and justifiably returned and if not quash the returns of the returning officer and if we do not have our candidates appointed instead then we would have a new elections, and so today, we say to you the people that that government headed by Harris is illegal- it is illegitimate and so we are asking for new elections, fair elections, fair elections, fair elections to elect our members of parliament.”
The Opposition Leader touched on the absence of international observers during the general elections.
“We also want to make it clear that is why there were really no serious observers here during the elections. They did not want any international observers in the elections. They were prevented from coming because [Dr. Timothy] Harris told them if they came, they would be quarantined for 14 days and then the elections long gone after the 14 days and so we again say that the elections were fraudulent, the government is illegal and we want fresh elections.”
Notably, a CARICOM Election Observer Mission arrived in the Federation on Wednesday 3rd June and a local observer team ,which saw an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) coalition comprising of The Christian Councils and Evangelical Associations of St.Kitts and Nevis supported by the St.Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce), monitored the election process.
Both bodies claim that the general elections were free and fair.
Dr. Douglas thanked supporters for the tremendous support provided whilst stating that the party and its candidates were treated unfairly for the elections.
“We have been unfairly treated as a party and as candidates for the elections. While we were on lockdown, they were out there campaigning. They used all kinds of things to bribe the people of St.Kitts and Nevis and so today we say to you: we ain’t taking it so at all; we ain’t taking it so at all. We call for fresh elections and we say to you that the government is illegitimate and illegal…”
The SKNLP is the only organisation on St.Kitts to have had a full slate of eight candidates contesting the general elections.
The Team Unity coalition made up of three parties- People’s Labour Party-PLP, People’s Action Movement-PAM and also Concerned Citizens Movement- CCM on Nevis) got 6 seats on St.Kitts and all 3 seats on Nevis, resulting in seats- 9 to 2 in the federal count.
The other successful SKNLP candidate is newcomer Dr. Geoffrey Hanley of Constituency One (East Basseterre).
The official election results, as given by the Supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey concerning the eight constituencies on St.Kitts, are as follows:
Constituency One: SKNLP Dr. Geoffrey Hanley (1658), PAM Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd (1634)
Constituency Two: PAM Jonel Powell (1654), SKNLP Marcella Liburd (1422)
Constituency three: PLP newcomer Alkilah Byron- Nisbett (1342), SKNLP Konris Maynard (1253)
Constituency Four: PAM Deputy Leader Lindsay Grant (1284), SKNLP newcomer Steve Wrensford (934) and newcomer independent runner Jason ‘Grabbament’ Thomas (11).
Constituency Five: PAM Leader Shawn Richards (1296), SKNLP newcomer Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Douglas (821).
Constituency Six: SKNLP Leader Denzil Douglas (1553), PLP newcomer Kevin ‘Ninky Williams (476).
Constituency Seven: PLP Leader Dr. Timothy Harris (1870), SKNLP newcomer Leon Nata –Nelson (607).
Constituency Eight: PAM Eugene Hamilton (2232), SKNLP Chairman Dr. Terrance Drew (2208)