CHARLESTOWN: Premier Joseph Parry has announced that Nevisians will go to the polls on January 22 to elect a new Nevis Island Administration (NIA). He also named Monday, January 14 as Nomination Day.
“At this the start of 2013, we hold the future of our beloved island truly in our hands,” said Premier Parry in a nationwide radio and television broadcast last Saturday evening.
Parry agreed to a poll instead of holding a by-election in the St. John’s constituency after the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that the victory of his former deputy, Hensley Daniel, was null and void last year.
The ruling Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) held a one-seat majority over the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) following the last NIA poll.
Daniel had won the seat by 14 votes, defeating the CCM’s Deputy Leader, Mark Brantley and giving the ruling party a 3-2 majority in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Brantley had filed an election petition charging widespread irregularity and following a two-week trial last year, Justice Lionel Jones declared the election invalid.
The respondents, including Daniel, Parry, Supervisor of Elections, Leroy Benjamin and electoral officials, Bernadette Lawrence and Kelvin Daley, had argued during the trial that the results were free and fair based on existing regulations.
Benjamin has since resigned from the post and in its ruling the High Court said it was justified in finding bias against Lawrence on the basis of her deliberate proceeding to hold hearings in the absence of the objectees.
“There was abundant evidence which established not only bias, but worse, bad faith and misfeasance on the part of Ms. Lawrence,” the Appeal Court said.