Caricom monitorea elecciones de San Cristóbal y Nieves
Este jueves avanzan los preparativos para la realización de elecciones generales en San Cristóbal y Nieves, las cuales están previstas para el viernes y son supervisadas por la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom).
La Misión de Observación Electoral de Caricom arribó el miércoles a Basseterre, capital de esa federación caribeña cuyas autoridades adoptaron en las últimas horas necesarias decisiones para levantar el toque de queda nocturno, decretado a causa de la Covid-19, durante este jueves, el viernes y el sábado 6.
La Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) y la Comunidad de Naciones (Commonwealth) no participarán en la supervisión electoral, debido a la estricta cuarentena adoptada para mitigar los contagios del virus Sars-Cov-2.
— Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (@CARICOMorg) June 4, 2020
Invitada por el Gobierno nacional, la Misión de Caricom está encabezada por el director de Elecciones de Santa Lucía, Gasper Jean Baptiste, con experiencia en misiones de observación anteriores, y también la componen Arley Gill y Chester Arlington Humphrey (nacionales de Granada).
Entre otras diligencias, la comitiva supervisará el proceso de votación, incluida la apertura de comicios, la emisión de votos, el cierre de la encuesta y el recuento de las papeletas.
Además, emitirá una declaración preliminar basada en sus observaciones y con posterioridad preparará un informe sobre las elecciones generales y lo presentará ante la organización regional.
Este es el segundo Estado miembro de Caricom, luego de Surinam, en realizar elecciones en medio de la pandemia. En tanto, su Grupo de Trabajo Nacional Covid-19 creó un protocolo de salud obligatorio y específico para el día de los comicios.
Hasta el 29 de mayo, San Cristóbal y Nieves reportaba 15 casos de Covid-19 y 15 personas recuperadas del virus. Un total de 140 personas permanecían aisladas y bajo observación médica.
Candidatos de San Cristóbal y Nieves apelan al voto en vísperas de comicios
Los candidatos a ganar las elecciones generales que se celebran mañana en San Cristóbal y Nieves, un país de dos islas independiente desde 1983 de poco más de 260 kilómetros cuadrados y una población de 55.000 habitantes, apelaron al voto a 24 horas de los comicios de este diminuto territorio caribeño.
El primer ministro, Timothy Harris, y el líder del Partido Laborista de San Cristóbal y Nieves (SKNLP, en inglés), Denzil Douglas, aprovecharon hasta el último momento para hacer un llamamiento al electorado, un censo de cerca de 40.000 personas.
Harris, quien lidera Equipo de Unidad, una coalición de tres partidos políticos, dijo a sus partidarios que está en riesgo el progreso logrado, ya que se podría regresar a un pasado de calles inseguras y alta deuda con el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) del partido de Douglas, o, en sentido contrario, se puede apostar por una opción más fuerte y segura, la suya.
Douglas, que busca recuperar el poder después de su derrota en las últimas elecciones generales, dijo a los partidarios de SKNLP que la coalición gobernante está desesperada, muestra de lo cual es que en las últimas horas se están ofreciendo préstamos de hasta 10.000 dólares no solicitados.
Dijo que los fondos estaban siendo puestos a disposición de las personas por el Banco de Desarrollo de San Cristóbal y Nieves, dirigido por un pariente del primer ministro.
‘Están otorgando préstamos a personas que ni siquiera están empleadas y que no pueden aportar ninguna garantía’, dijo Douglas.
Las elecciones a ser celebradas mañana en San Cristóbal y Nieves no serán supervisadas por ninguna misión internacional.
Un portavoz de la Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom) señaló a EFE que sería imposible para el equipo que ha seguido recientemente los comicios en Surinam que cumpliera con las condiciones de cuarentena de 14 días exigidas por las autoridades sanitarias de San Cristóbal y Nieves para evitar la propagación del coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
LA OEA NO SUPERVISARÁ LAS ELECCIONES
La Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), por los mismos motivos, tampoco podrá estar presente con observadores en la cita electoral.
El supervisor de elecciones de San Cristóbal y Nieves, Elvin Bailey, dijo que se pondrán en marcha protocolos para proteger a los votantes contra el virus y que habían sido discutidos y aceptados por las autoridades sanitarias locales.
Afirmó que las medidas incluían desinfección, distanciamiento y uso de mascarillas.
‘Se requerirá que los votantes se desenmascaren brevemente para que se pueda verificar su identidad. Además, se les proporcionará una solución desinfectante’, dijo.
Bailey anunció a finales de mayo que la supervisión de las elecciones estaría a cargo de observadores locales, lo que incluye al Consejo Cristiano, la Asociación Evangélica y la Cámara de Industria y Comercio.
Algunos críticos han apuntado que la supervisión por parte de esos colectivos es insuficiente debido a la falta de recursos humanos, de capacitación y experiencia que se requieren para observar exhaustivamente unas elecciones.
San Cristóbal y Nieves es un país independiente de la Mancomunidad de Naciones (antiguamente Mancomunidad Británica de Naciones) con la reina Isabel II como jefe de Estado, representada en ese territorio por un gobernador general.
El jefe de Gobierno es el primer ministro, uno de los catorce miembros de la Asamblea Nacional que mañana serán elegidos.
CARICOM Election Observation Mission accepted in St Kitts – Nevis amid ‘irregularities’
At the invitation of the government of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has fielded a CARICOM Election Observation Mission to monitor the General Elections which will be held in that country on Friday, 5 June 2020.
The three-member Mission will be headed by Gasper Jean Baptiste, chief elections officer in Saint Lucia. He has served as a member of CARICOM Election Observation Missions to CARICOM Member States.
The other members of the Mission are, Arley Gill (National of Grenada); and Chester Arlington Humphrey (National of Grenada).
The CARICOM Election Observation Mission proposes to meet with the electoral officials, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis and will monitor the voting process including the opening of the poll, the casting of votes, the closing of the poll and the counting of the ballots.
The members of the Observation Mission arrived in St Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, and will depart on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
The Election Observation Mission will issue a preliminary statement based on its observations and findings. A report on the general elections will be subsequently prepared and submitted to the secretary-general of the Caribbean Community.
For CARICOM, election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy and good governance. In this regard, at the request of the government of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, the CARICOM secretariat conducted virtual training in election observation for a group of local election observers.
The St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) deputy political leader Marcella Liburd cautioned that prime minister Dr Timothy Harris is “hell-bent on securing a victory at any cost and by whatever means possible” advised that one safeguard is the intervention of international observers representing key organisations including the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) CARICOM and the Organization of Associates (OAS).
The St Kitts Evangelical Association and the St Kitts Christian Council rejected a request by the Dr Timothy Harris-led Team Unity government to be the sole observers of June 5, 2020, general elections in St Kitts and Nevis.
The group told the government that it lacks the human resource capacity and experience to manage, undertake and comprehensively report on their own, the observations of the June 5 poll; and pointed out that in previous elections their observation took place alongside regional, hemispheric and international election observers.
The NGO’s told the government of Dr Harris that the people of St Christopher and Nevis “believe in the concept of true democracy with free and fair elections.”
In a letter to the political leader of St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Dr Denzil Douglas, dated May 28, OAS secretary-general, Luis Almagro validated that the Organization had accepted Dr Harris’ invitation of May 19, but the invitation was revoked on May 27.
“Unfortunately, on May 27 the government informed the OAS that, following the establishment of a 14-day quarantine, it would not be feasible for the observer mission to travel to St Kitts and Nevis.
“OAS/GS regrets that a practical solution was not put in place like was the case in Suriname to allow our observers to deploy but is respectful of the sovereign decision,” the OAS letter read.
The Commonwealth ‘Not possible’
A June 2, 2020, letter to Dr Denzil L Douglas, political leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, says, the decision of prime minister, Dr Timothy Harris, that “ requires all travellers to be placed in a 14 day quarantine; and, that given the numbers of days prior to the elections, an election observation mission would not be possible.”
Early on, the St Kitts and Nevis government bypassed elections supervisor recommendation and returning officers, poll clerks.
The decision by prime minister Dr Timothy Harris to overrule the selection of Returning Officers and Poll Clerks made by supervisor of elections, Elvin Bailey, and to replace them with his people, including his brother-in-law, Jermaine “Sacky” Lake, has created considerable suspicion and fear among the people of St Kitts and Nevis.
Increasingly, questions are being asked about the motives of Dr Harris, and others are convinced that “the country will become another Guyana”.
There are also concerns that – extra ballots are expected to hi-jack elections in St Kitts and Nevis.
Commission member, attorney, Jason Hamilton, who represents the opposition, has questioned the government activities in preparation for the 2020 poll that “erodes the work if the constitutional body”.
He identified the selection of the Returning Officers, late publication of the election day voters list, late publication of the polling stations and earlier activities in preparation for the June 5 poll.
The said list was published Thursday, June 4, one day before the general elections, with many unanswered questions.
“A sign is posted on the door of the office indicating that the office will be closed from Tuesday, June 2 to Thursday, June 4 giving only Friday (June 5th Election Day) to be opened. If the list was published last week, a voter would … if his or her name is on or off the list. If the office is closed this week where does the person go to complain,” Hamilton added, “the question is who gave that directive?”
Meanwhile, the NextGen SKN – St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) remains confident of election victory, amid ‘irregularities’ – ‘State of Emergency’ and additional security measures, says, “It’s all about you” – the people of St Kitts and Nevis.
SKN Votes Today-Polling Details
Voters in St. Kitts and Nevis head to the polls today to vote for a government to lead their affairs for the next five years.
A total of 48,036 are registered to vote in St. Kitts and Nevis up 14 % from the 42,184 voters of 2015 according to supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey. There are 35,860 in St. Kitts and 12,176 in Nevis registered to vote a This is 5,852 more persons than the previous elections.
Constituency 1 will see 5,962 voters, who will vote at 15 voting sites up from 5,036 registered voters in 2015.
In Constituency 2 5,421 voters will vote at 14 voting sites up from 4,740 voters in 2015.
Constituency 3 will vote at 10 voting sites and will feature 4,078 voters increasing from 3166 in
the last elections.
The 3,400 voters in Constituency 4 will vote at 10 voting sites up from 3,166 in 2015 while Constituency 5 will have 3,124 voters assigned to 10 voting sites up from 3,107 last time
In Constituency 6, there are 3,205 voters assigned to 9 voting sites up from 2,823 voters while Constituency 7 has 3,722 voters assigned to 9 voting sites up from 3,191.
Constituency 8 has the largest registered number of voters with 6,948 assigned to 18 voting sites. In 2015 there were 5,753 voters.
In Constituency 9, there are 6,397 voters assigned to 18 voting sites an increasing from 6,127 in the last election. Constituency 10 will be the smallest constituency with 1,774 voters who will vote in 6 voting sites up from 1,393.
For Constituency 11, there are 4,005 voters assigned to 10 voting sites an increase from 3,584.
The Observer will provide updates from various constituencies throughout the day from candidate, voters and party officials.
SKN Supervisor of Elections announces polling stations in 11 electoral constituencies for June 5th General Elections
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 04, 2020) — The following is a statement from Mr. Elvin Bailey, Supervisor of Elections in St. Kitts and Nevis, regarding the polling stations assigned in 11 electoral constituencies for the general elections slated for June 05, 2020.
Fellow citizens and residents,
These are the Polling Stations assigned to the various constituencies:-
GENERAL ELECTIONS 2020
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS ACT CAP 2.01
TAKE NOTICE that a poll will be taken for the election of a member of the Electoral Constituency of St. Christopher (1) to serve in the National Assembly.
The poll will be opened on the 5th day of June 2020 at the hour of 7 o’clock in the forenoon and kept open till the hour of 6 o’clock in the afternoon in the following polling stations established in the said Electoral Constituency of St. Christopher (1), that is to say,
Address of polling station
1 Parish Centre (East Independence Street) 527
2A Basseterre Police Station
2B Basseterre Police Station
2C Warner Park Pavilion
3A Tucker Clarke School
3B Kim Collins Stadium
3C Kim Collins Stadium
3D Kim Collins Stadium
3E Kim Collins Stadium
3F Kim Collins Stadium
4A Public Works Dept.
4B Public Works Dept.
4C Public Works Dept.
5 Police Training School
6 Hope Chapel
The candidates in the above Electoral Constituency are as follows:
Candidates: HANLEY, GEOFFREY DR
The number of votes given to the two (2) candidates will be counted on the 5th day of June 2020 at 8 o’clock in the afternoon at the Police Training School of which all persons are hereby to take notice and govern themselves accordingly.
Dated this 2nd day of June 2020
Returning Officer for the Electoral Constituency of St. Christopher (1)
Federation Votes Friday-Full Slate of Candidates
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is voting Friday (June 5) with the Team Unity coalition led by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris seeking a second term in office, while the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) led by former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas will be seeking a return to Church Street.
Twenty-three candidates from five parties and one independent were nominated last week Wednesday to contest tomorrow’s poll.
Some key battles will likely emerge across the constituencies, some that may decide the election. The magic number to form the government is six.
Team Unity will be better poised having a candidate compete in all 11 constituencies. The SKNLP despite having nominated the most candidates by any singular party are only competing in the eight constituencies in St. Kitts and the possibility remains they may need a coalition with the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) to form a government. Neither has indicated intentions to join forces during this campaign but have done so in the recent past.
In Constituency 1 incumbent Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and Team Unity will face off against SKNLP’s Dr. Geoffrey Hanley. In 2015 Liburd defeated then Deputy Prime Minister Asim Martin by a mere four votes to win a key seat for Team Unity.
Liburd last time out was able to capture 1,731 votes over Martin’s 1,727. However, questions have emerged over Hanley’s eligibility after it was believed he was a US Citizen. He has claimed to have renounced that citizenship.
In Constituency 2 there will be a rematch of 2015 where SKNLP incumbent Marcella Liburd will try to stave off a strong challenge by Jonel Powell of PAM. Liburd won in 2015 by 98 votes, capturing 1,758 votes to Powell’s 1660. Powell has expressed confidence in his ability to flip the seat.
In Constituency 3 SKNLP’s Konris Maynard will do battle against Akilah Byron-Nisbett of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) and Team Unity. Both Maynard and Byron-Nisbett served in the last National Assembly where Maynard represented the constituency and Byron-Nisbett served as Deputy Speaker.
In 2015 Maynard defeated Sam Condor formerly of the SKNLP and who had served that constituency 25 years prior to his defeat. In 2015 Maynard received 1,348 votes to Condor’s 1,076.
In 2015 Constituency 4 provided the second-closest margin of victory. Back then Lindsay Grant of PAM defeated Glen Phillips of the SKNLP by 36 votes. This time around he faces Steve Wrensford of the SKNLP and Jason Thomas an independent candidate. In 2015 Grant secured 1,252 votes to Phillips’ 1,216
Constituency 5 features Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of PAM Shawn Richards against SKNLP’s newcomer Kenneth Douglas. Richards is a three-term incumbent of that seat who first got elected in 2004. Richards was able to secure 1,245 votes to then SKNLP candidate Norgen Wilson’s 884.
In Constituency 6 SKNLP Leader Dr. Douglas will be aiming for another term in the constituency he has represented for more than three decades. This time around he will face rookie Kevin ‘Ninky’ Williams who will be running under the banner of PLP.
Douglas however had to vacate his seat in the Parliament after the Dominica passport case. He secured 1,969 votes in 2015 versus Vernon Connor who only secured 200.
Incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris of PLP features in Constituency 7 where he faces debutant Leon Natta-Nelson. Dr. Harris had been representing this constituency since 1993 and despite changing political parties in 2015 was able to secure a big victory. Dr. Harris in 2015 won by a margin of 1,647 to 867 over SKNLP Vance Gilbert.
Constituency eight features the largest voting population with 6,948 registered voters. It will feature a 2015 rematch between two-term incumbent Eugene Hamilton of PAM and SKNLP Dr. Terrance Drew. In 2015, Hamilton won by a margin of 236 votes. He managed to total 2,364 votes over Dr. Drew’s 2,128.