Government of St. Kitts and Nevis Secures Regional Election Observation Team and facilitates CARICOM Virtual Training for Local Observers

Basseterre – 3rd June 2020 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) —The General Election in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis on Friday, 5th June 2020 will be unique, especially considering that it will take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, with relevant and necessary health regulations remaining in effect. A critical component of the General Elections is the participation of local and regional observers who will monitor the Electoral process.

The National COVID-19 Task Force created a special mandatory health protocol to facilitate the physical participation of a CARICOM Election Observation Mission (EOM).  The CARICOM EOM is scheduled to arrive in the Federation on Wednesday 3rd June. The team will be screened immediately upon arrival and will undergo a molecular (RT-PCR) test, while being housed in a Government facility. The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the team, including daily screenings and other activities set out in the special protocol, until its departure. The health and safety of the General Public remains the Government’s highest priority.

On Tuesday 2nd June, the CARICOM Secretariat conducted a virtual training session for a 19 strong civil society group, from both Saint Kitts and Nevis at the National Information and Technology Centre, Paul A. Southwell Industrial Site. In addition to the CARICOM training officials, the local observers had also benefited from training facilitated by Messrs. Eugene Petty and Pastor Leroy Benjamin, two veteran election officials. Mr. Petty, a former Supervisor of Elections here in Saint Kitts and Nevis, has recently retired from the CARICOM Secretariat where he has headed Observer Missions throughout the region. Pastor Benjamin, too, has been a former Supervisor of Elections.

The Government is confident that the local observers are well equipped to perform their duties on Polling Day in partnership with the CARICOM EOM.  The Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis expresses appreciation to the CARICOM Secretariat for its role in building capacity as well as providing a team of regional observers to be on the ground in time for Friday’s General Election.