Silent protest draws attention to Elections discrepancies…Electoral changes needed

Pulse Administrator
6 Min Read

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – THE Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Dr. Janice Daniel-Hodge, is standing by her party’s decision to move to the Court to challenge the outcome of the December 12 Nevis Island Assembly Elections.

Dr. Daniel-Hodge and other party leaders led a silent protest yesterday (Dec.11) outside the Elquemedo Willett Park, while Premier Mark Brantley and his Cabinet were being sworn-in, to draw attention to discrepancies and irregularities found during the counting of ballots that handed the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) a narrow (3-2) victory.

During the counting process, irregularities of more ballots were counted than those cast, family members of those running for office were designated Polling Agents, and there were a number of discrepancies within the Voters’ List.

“Based on what has been revealed subsequent to the Elections and before the Election Results were revealed, the Elections were not free and fair!” Dr. Daniel-Hodge said. “There were a number of irregularities that would have contributed to much suspicion and mistrust. And the general sense is that the current Government, right now, did not win the Elections free and fair. And so we are asking that if we had free and fair elections, the outcome would be different.” 

Based on research and feedback from the populace, the NRP is adamant that the policies and operations of the incumbent CCM were not benefiting Nevisians. 

Many Nevisians were frustrated with monies being spent on projects that started and have not yet been completed, including the hospital, while others questioned whether the Government was fully forthcoming with information about other initiatives, such as the airport expansion that it claimed would be financed by an European billionaire. 

“When we look at the way the Election Results were trending, we feel that the people of Nevis were  ready for a change. And, unfortunately, based on what has come up, and based on the long delays in getting the results, it is clear for everyone to understand that the results and the outcome is not what the people of Nevis wanted and voted for,” added Dr. Daniel -Hodge.

Party Leaders are willing to accept defeat if the Court should so determine, but based on the way the Elections were held and issues arising from the count, they cannot not sit idly by and allow it to go unchallenged. 

Jadee Caines, NRP’s Candidate for Nevis One, also echoed similar concerns about irregularities, noting the absence of a period for Claims and Objections prior to the Elections, and also the alleged removal of names from the Voters’ List.

“According to the results, my opponent won by 27 votes…I am not looking for drama, I can surely accept defeat. I am just asking the good gentlemen to get up out of my seat! I strongly believe that that seat was not won by the  Concerned Citizens Movement. There were lots of irregularities on that day. Case in point, Poll Clerks and Presiding Officers would have indicated a certain number of persons voted, but when the counters did the tally, they found  a different number,”  she disclosed.

Rohan Isles, NRP’s Representative in Nevis Three, also expressed concern with the way the Elections were handled, noting that he and the party campaigned on an agenda of hope and prosperity, and that resonated with the voters. However, the way results were presented raised red flags and concerns.

Like Caines, Isles is not accepting that the Elections were properly conducted and is adamant that the Court would be the best place to get to the bottom of the issue. But he however reminded that the Party is willing to accept defeat when all controversies are settled.

“We are always willing to accept defeat, whatever the case is. But we found that right after that [counting] there were some irregularities that happened during the day, and consequently as we observed the count. We have come here to really demonstrate and show the people of Nevis that voted overwhelmingly that we are here for them.

“We just want this Government to know that we will not not let these issues go dying down. We believe that there were some illegalities that occurred during the Elections period, Number Two as well,”

Dr. Daniel-Hodge reiterated that the NRP will accept the Court’s decision and move forward to put the business of the people of Nevis on the frontburner for the next five years. 

She is calling for Electoral Reform and verification of voters to minimize the discrepancies found on December 12.

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