Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 02, 2017 (SKNIS): The Honourable Vincent Byron Jr. has urged residents and citizens to register to vote in the constituency in which they live as not doing so is illegal, and government will do all in its power to ensure that the practice of registering outside of their respective zones discontinues.
“One of the first actions that this government will take to continue and ensure that they have the proper registration is that we will go from door to door and from house to house and we will register you where you live. That will happen before the end of this year,” said the Attorney General, while speaking at the Good Governance and Accountability for Prosperity Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, January 31, at the Cayon Community Center. “It is called enumeration, a voter enumeration where we will visit every house in this country, in St. Kitts and in Nevis, and we will take your name where you live. There will be no doubt about it.”
The Attorney General said that it is imperative to go through such process because to date a voters list was published containing a total of 43,185 names, while the country has a recorded population of 47, 195. He said that the onus is on individuals to be honest and if this is not being done the government will have to intervene.
“Today the electoral process is perhaps at the core of a democratic country. Now you elect your representatives and we say that any system in which you are going to have a government must be fair,” he said. “You must have proper rules and proper laws and we must conduct ourselves properly. And fellow citizens, for years and years in this country, we have seen our electoral process broken down and mashed up.”
Minister Byron said that ensuring that persons register where they reside forms part of the government’s good governance agenda. He said that the government will be making significant new legislations this year to deal with the good governance agenda.
“These will deal with how we behave as a people, how we behave as a government and how we behave as public servants. We will be looking at questions that have been around for a long time – integrity in public life, what does this mean and how do we conduct ourselves? And as we look at that we will look at freedom of information where ordinary citizens can get certain information from the government,” he said. “So there are certain issues that we have to establish, and before we go back to Parliament to follow up on our first filing of the Freedom of Information Bill, we will be doing more town hall meetings about this matter to hear from you, for us to discuss it.”
He said that the government will seek assistance from qualified persons in other jurisdictions who are familiar with the matter. He said that the expectation coming out of this would be to enlighten persons so that they can understand how it works.