(Basseterre, St Kitts, December 3, 2022): With less than 3 days before Nomination Day for the upcoming Nevis Island Assembly , St.Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have named Joseph Liburd and Vaughn Henderson has new Electoral Commissioners. The duo replaced Attorneys-at-Law Jason Hamilton and O’Grenville Browne who both resigned as Electoral Commissioners .
On December 2, 2022, the Prime Minister advised the Governor-General that Attorney-at-Law
Vaughan Henderson has been selected and has agreed to serve as his nominated Electoral
Commissioner. On the same day, the Governor-General was advised that the Leader of the Opposition nominated Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Joseph Liburd who also agreed to serve as his nominated Electoral Commissioner.
The Prime Minister thanked the two outgoing Electoral Commissioners “for their service to the People of St Kitts and Nevis” and wished the two Electoral Commissioners-Elect well in their new posts and implored them “to be guided by principles of integrity and transparency in their new roles.”
The new Electoral Commissioners-Elect will shortly take office. The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Attorney-at-Law Nassibou Butler remains in his post.
Section 33 of the Constitution states that the functions of the Electoral Commission are to supervise the Supervisor of Elections in the performance of his functions and the Commission shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the Governor-General, acting in his or her own deliberate judgment; one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; and one member appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. Oaklyn Peets was appointed Supervisor of Election in October 2022 and has been operating without a functioning electoral commission as the commission had not had any meetings since August 5th. Further the Commissioners tenure automatically dissolved at the conclusion of the last elections as both the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister have changed thus new appointments should’ve been made since after August 5th and could’ve been made before the appointment of a New Supervisor of Elections. Peetes has been operating as Supervisor without guidance from the Electoral Commission as spelled out in the constitution. In other words Peets thus far has been operating unconstitutionally as Supervisor of Elections.