BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday 30th May 2019) –Protestors assembled outsidethe Electoral Office on Central Street last Friday (24th May) found more faults- mistakes in the public apology notice by the Supervisor of Elections posted on the glass door as calls continue for the office to hurry in fixing or buying a new voter ID card printer and to address other concerns as well.
That protest was organised by the Opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP).
“What word is this?” Yea Mon asked office workers about the misspelling of the word ‘inconvenience’. Other protestors realised that the word ‘apologise’ also had a typo and frowned upon such errors made in service to the public.
See full notice below:
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CARD MACHINE IS CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE. WE ARE MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO HAVE THIS RECTIFIED.
A NOTICE WILL BE MADE VIA THE MEDIA WHEN THE MACHINE IS BACK TO FULL FUNCTION.
WE APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVIENCE THIS MAY CAUSED AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING YOU.
THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING.
SIGNED: SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
MR ELVIN BAILEY
Yea Mon, in speaking with this media house, told that his ID expired and he had been waiting for about three to four months to receive a fresh one.
While protesting, he was also sought an update to find out when “to come back again.”
“I need my ID and I think it is only fair that the process be transparent and honest. If the machine is down, buy a new machine. I mean we aint get no MRI machine so give us a voters ID machine,” he said.
Another demonstrator named Claudette shared that while her ID is up to date, she felt the need to be part of the protest.
“I am here protesting because of the voters ID; every time persons go in to get their voters ID, they [the workers there] are saying that machine break down and it is full time now that they need to get the machine fix so that people to get their ID. I have grandchildren who want to register but what sense bring them and they can’t get the card?”
This media house spoke with SKNLP Deputy Leader and Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Two (Central Basseterre) Marcella Liburd who applauded the presence of the protestors.
“It is good for them to come out and stand firm; stand up for their rights and be able to draw to the attention of the public to all of the illegalities that are happening here at the Electoral Office including the removal of over 100 names from Constituency Four and up to now the persons whose names have been removed have not been told that their names have been removed given the law says you have seven days within which to appeal the decision to remove your name but if you’re not told that your name is removed , tell me what opportunity would you have to appeal?”
Liburd who is a lawyer by profession added: “This cannot be right; this is total injustice and disenfranchisement of people and that is one of the reasons why we are here in order to highlight the illegalities that are taking place here at the Electoral Office!”
On the topic of free and fair elections, Liburd said the situation at the Electoral Office is “very concerning because this certainly undemocratic! Democracy calls for free and fair elections which means that everybody must have an opportunity. There must be a transparent process if people by law have seven days within which to appeal a decision to remove their names must be told that their names are removed so that they can then take action or not take action; whatever is right for them but it can’t be that they are not told!”
The SKNLP top official added: “That is why I am saying that the Supervisor of Elections must resign plus he is personally involved in these hearings. As the Supervisor of Elections, he must not be personally involved; he is to ensure that things are going right, not to involve himself in it.”
According to the Central Basseterre Parliamentarian: “Imagine the Supervisor or Elections actually serve notices for objection hearings in Constituency Two! That’s the job of the bailiff! They say they hire more bailiffs to serve yet the Supervisor Elections must be serving notices for Constituency Two. This can’t be right!”
When asked if the Opposition has any formal plans to address the matter apart from protesting publicly, Liburd pointed out that there are still plans to pursue the matter at a judicial level.
“We are planning to take legal action and at the same time we have to take the steps to ensure that the public understands what is happening here at the Electoral Office.”