PM promises continued electoral reform
- Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 17:01
- Written by Clive Bacchus
- Hits: 1142
Basseterre, St. Kitts (WINN): Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, the Minister with responsibility for elections, is promising that electoral reform in the Federation will continue, but has stopped short of saying when and how.
"The electoral reform process of course, has to continue. I believe that the ruling of the Court in particular sets the tone for further reform to take place within the electoral system," the Prime Minister said Tuesday, responding to callers on his weekly Ask the PM radio programme.
"Although I have not had a final and complete and second and third reading of the Court's ruling, I believe that the traditional way for example of bringing notices to registered voters who are being challenged in terms of their registration, this will have to be revisited."
Dr. Douglas' comments come in the wake of a damning Appeal Court ruling on the conduct of senior electoral officials.
The Prime Minister said Tuesday that perhaps some modern methods had to be introduced to the system.
"We have to make sure that when a notice goes out from the registration officer that it gets to its high destination, that is the potential voter. These are just come of the areas in passing that definitely would have to be revisited," he said indicating that he would await information from the relevant people before taking action.
"I am at the moment waiting on the relevant persons within the system to outline to me as the Prime Minster and with responsibility for the electoral process, to ensure that what the court has identified that they can be translated into action that will bring improvement in the electoral system."
The Prime Minister told listeners that he believed in a fair system.
"A fair system will bring...more grounding and foundation...of our electoral system towards greater democracy here in St. Kitts and Nevis, and so I am one for that, and definitely await the interpretation of the judgment and the action-oriented plan that will impact on greater efficiency in the system and thus make the necessary changes."
The court ruling was 'critically important,' the Prime Minister said.
"It is what I would call transformational in the sense that it gives direction as to what we need to do in the future to ensure greater governance here in St. Kitts and Nevis," Dr. Douglas said Tuesday.
The Appeal Court in handing down its judgment had strong words for election officials.
On the part of Registration Officer Ms Bernadette Lawrence, the Justices found, "Not only bias, but worse, bad faith and misfeasance.”
They found that the Supervisor of Elections Mr. Leroy Benjamin demonstrated, "...Reckless indifference as to whether he was breaking the law or causing injury.”
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