Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2013

Nevis elections set for Jan 22

CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – Nevis Premier Joseph Parry announced on Saturday night that Nevisians will go to the polls on Tuesday, January 22. He also named Monday, January 14, as Nomination Day.

In a 15-minute simultaneous address on television and radio stations in the Federation, the premier told Nevisians, “We do not need a long and drawn out period of campaigning, there is plenty of work to be done and we have, as an administration, to hit the road running, very early in the New Year.”

“Fellow Nevisians”, he said, “we stand on the cusp of a new year. A new chapter is about to be written about the evolution of these islands. The exciting feature of this development is that each of you, above the age of 18, has an opportunity, indeed a responsibility, to influence the crafting of history’s page.”

“We (Nevisians) hold the future of our beloved islands truly in our hands,” he said. “There’s much going on around us, as an island, a federation and a region, that we have little or no ability to determine. But there is the aspect of political, social and economic stability of Nevis, that we can very much influence, and here is where imminent general elections for a new Nevis Island Administration come into sharp focus.”

The need for new elections in Nevis comes in the wake of the OECS Court of Appeal ruling on August 27, 2012, which upheld an earlier decision by the High Court that had declared the results of the July 11, 2011, Nevis Island Assembly (NIA) elections in the St John’s seat null and void.

Former deputy premier and social affairs minister, Hensley Daniel of the incumbent Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), had successfully defended the St John’s seat, which he first won after the 2006 Nevis Island Assembly elections, where he upset the holder, CCM’s Malcolm Guishard, now deceased. In the July 2011 elections, Daniel beat challenger Mark Brantley of the CCM by 14 votes.

However, in October, Parry announced that there would be a general election and not simply a by-election in the disputed constituency

“Let’s not believe that we are having a by-election. It is not going to happen. No by-election is going to take place in this country. It is going to be a general election,” he said at the time.

“A general election is an election that determines the direction of the country. No one seat can determine that. It is too important. The issue of who runs the country, who gives direction to the country, who carries the ball further, cannot be decided by a by-election,” Parry added.

He said that the direction Nevis has to take must be determined by all the persons on Nevis who have a right to vote, so that they get an opportunity to make a determination, or to be part of that determination of the direction of the country.

By Caribbean News Now contributor

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