Basseterre, St Kitts, October 6, 2019 – Accusing the three-party Timothy Harris-led Team Unity coalition of “being guilty of committing the most outrageous offences against the principles and tenets of good governance” and “making a mockery of the electoral system,” Deputy Political Leader of the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Hon Marcella Liburd has announced that legal action has been taken against Attorney General and Minister responsible for Elections, Sen the Hon Vincent Byron Jr and Supervisor of Elections, Mr Elvin Bailey.
Liburd said the “evidence of corruption and fraud at the Electoral Office continues to mount where the legitimacy of the upcoming elections is at stake and the stability of our system of electing a government has been seriously compromised and urgent action is required to prevent St Kitts and Nevis from falling into chaos, disorder and complete dictatorship,” said Liburd, the Member of Parliament for St Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre).
“Over the last 4 and a half years, we have witnessed the complete politicization and corruption of the electoral office. The Supervisor of Elections Mr. Elvin Bailey has been conspiring with others to remove not just the names of persons who have been registered for many years, but the names of newly registered voters. On a monthly basis persons registered in Constituency #4 who have been registering as first-time voters for the candidate have had their names corruptly and illegally removed by the electoral office without due process in an effort to disenfranchise citizens who are duly qualified to vote,” Liburd said at a news conference.
Liburd, a former deputy speaker and speaker of the National Assembly also disclosed that similar efforts at fraudulently and illegally removing names of lawfully registered voters have taken place by the Electoral Office.
“We have recently initiated court action against the Supervisor of Elections and the Electoral Office in these matters. The evidence we have collected so far is overwhelming and is truly appalling to see flagrant illegalities and corrupt practices taking place at the Electoral Office. We will intensify our push back through more court action and we will take all the necessary steps to bring these subversive actions in the Electoral Office to light,” Liburd disclosed.
Bailey is a cousin of Senior Minister and Minister of Labour Hon Vance Amory and was appointed supervisor by the Timothy Harris government.
Accusing Supervisor Bailey of “playing a dangerous game,” Ms. Liburd said letters sent to him have not been answered.
“We have written to the Supervisor of Elections, requesting in accordance with the law, to review and receive copies of the records of objections and registration of voters. These letters were sent in June of this year and to date, we have not received a response to our requests,” said Liburd, who served as Minister of Health, Community and Social Development in the Labour Party administration of the Rt Hon Dr. Denzil L Douglas.
She said the lack of forthrightness is an attempt by the Supervisor of Elections and members of the Harris-led regime to “undemocratically and illegally remove from the Electoral List the names of persons who are duly qualified to register to vote.”
Liburd also referred to previous illegal actions of the government by closing the Electoral Offices in both St Kitts and Nevis for prolonged periods, refusal of the Electoral Office to print National Identification Cards to persons who are registered to vote, noting that during the same period cards were selectively printed for supporters of the three-party coalition government.
She told reporters and the nation that as the election window narrows, the Team Unity Government is becoming more and more desperate in their bid to hang on to power.
“The illegalities at the Electoral Office are rapidly increasing and the very latest attempt to illegally remove persons from the voters’ list is appalling, horrific, and shocking,” said Liburd.
She disclosed that persons in her Central Basseterre constituency for whom no objections hearing were held are receiving letters informing them that the decision arrived at is to remove their names from the register of voters and that they have seven days within which to appeal the decision.
“This is fraud plain and simple. This is scandalous and we call on the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Elvin Bailey to answer to this outrageous act of fraud. We call on the Attorney General, Mr. Vincent Byron, who has responsibility for elections and the Electoral Office to investigate and answer to these acts of fraud and we call on the people of St Kitts and Nevis to focus on the Electoral Office and to remain vigilant to ensure that these subversive acts cease and all infractions are corrected,” said Liburd.