PM disputes an election monitor’s report

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts & Nevis: St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has called on a non-governmental organization (NGO) group which monitored last month’s elections to retract part of its report that accuses him of interfering in the electoral process.

Dr. Douglas described the claim made in the report compiled by the NGO Coalition, comprising the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Evangelical Association and the Christian Council, as “malicious in intent and deliberately false”.

The group stated in its report that “it was generally agreed that the elections were conducted in a free and fair manner in most instances”, but claimed that Douglas was seen interfering in the voting process in one constituency.

“It is not only false, it is malicious and deliberately so, I believe,” said Douglas.

The Prime Minister pointed out that representatives of the other observer groups – the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Commonwealth and the Organization of American States (OAS) – had paid courtesy calls on him as the minister responsible for elections prior to the voting and after the poll to seek clarification on matters that were unclear.

Douglas said the NGO Coalition should have done similarly.

“If someone reported that the Prime Minister appeared to be disruptive, what is so difficult for a member of the coalition team to come and meet with me and say Mr. Prime Minister, this matter was reported by one of the NGO observers, could you give us any response to exactly why you were in Half Way Tree?” said Douglas.

Douglas said if the disputed part of the report is not corrected then the entire report will be rejected as “grossly inaccurate and deliberately malicious in attempting to tarnish the name of the Prime Minister and also the leaders of the Labour Party”.

Douglas said the Election Day process was viewed favourably by the other monitors who concluded that voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or harassment and that voting and counting took place in a transparent manner.

In the January 25 election, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party won six of the eight St. Kitts seats in the 11-member National Assembly. The People’s Action Movement (PAM) took the other two. Two of the Nevis seats were won by the Concerned Citizen’s Movement (CCM) while the other is held by the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).

 

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