The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) on Nevis has written to the Attorney General of over concerns that the existing entry protocols may be used to disenfranchise some nationals living overseas, by preventing them being able traveling home to vote in the fast approaching general election.
In a letter dated July 15, 2022 and addressed to Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron, CCM Chairman Troy Liburd noted that party supporters living in the Diaspora would be returning home to vote in the “critical” election, and the entry protocols demand that they apply online and await approval before being able to board flights. He said however, that the process is even now frustrating and restrictive.
“Many have complained that the approval process is cumbersome and oftentimes passengers have missed flights because the approval was not obtained or not obtained in time,” it read.
“…the purpose of this letter is to seek your assurance that all citizens seeking to enter for the election will be allowed to do so and that the protocols currently in place will either be relaxed for that purpose, or that there will be sufficient personnel manning the approval portals to ensure that persons wishing to come home are not prevented from doing so.”
The CCM, the incumbent party in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), questions why the Dr. Timothy Harris-led government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to have “onerous requirements” when other countries across the region have abandoned such entry requirements.
The letter was copied to several relevant government and private sector stakeholders including Prime Minister Harris; Abdias Samuel, Chair of the National COVID Task Force; Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer; the St. Kitts and Nevis Bar Association; the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; and the religion-based associations.
Following a Motion of No Confidence in the Prime Minister filed by six of the eight other members his Cabinet in April, Dr. Harris chose not to face a certain ousting in the parliament. He later requested the Governor General dissolve the national parliament, signalling a general election would have to be held within a 90-day period. With the August 8, 2022 deadline barrelling down, Dr. Harris on Sunday announced an August 5, 2022 date for the St. Kitts and Nevis electorate to go to the polls.
The leadership of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) has committed to joining with the CCM to form the next government should they amass the majority of seats. Presently the PAM holds four of the 8 seats on St. Kitts while CCM holds all three seats on Nevis. The Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party holds two seats and the Dr. Harris-led People’s Labour Party (PLP) has two.