Speaking at the second town hall meeting dubbed “Discussions for a Stronger, Safer Future” at the McKnight Community Centre on February 25 in celebration of the Government’s fifth year anniversary in office, Attorney General Byron said that the government is within the ambit of the law with respect to the General Elections which are constitutionally due within a few months.
The Attorney General dismissed the falsehood being peddled by the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led Opposition Labour Party that elections are overdue in St. Kitts and Nevis given that February 16, 2020, was the fifth anniversary of the government’s election to office.
Minister Byron reminded the audience in attendance at the town hall and those watching and listening to the live broadcast that the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis states that the five-year term of a government begins on the first day that the parliament meets after a general election. In this case, the first sitting of the parliament was held on May 14, 2020.
Chapter 4, Part 3, Section 47 (2) of the Constitution of the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis states: “Subject to subsection (3), Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting of the National Assembly after any dissolution and shall then stand dissolved.”
Additionally, Chapter 4, Part 3, Section 48 (1) states: “A general election of members of the National Assembly shall be held at such time within ninety days after any dissolution of Parliament as the Governor-General may appoint.”
With respect to the delimitation of constituencies, the Attorney General had this to say: “In February 2015, we went to London and the Privy Council told us that until there is a further order of a court, the old boundaries exist.”
The Constituency Boundaries Commission is presently holding meetings. The Commission comprises Mr. Denzil Crooke, OBE, appointed by the Governor-General; Senior Minister the Honourable Vance Amory and the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, appointed by the Prime Minister; and the Honourable Patrice Nisbett and the Honourable Konris Maynard, appointed by the Leader of the Opposition.
The Commission can produce a report to be taken to the Governor-General and a resolution can be passed in Parliament to create new boundaries as laid out by the Commission.
The date of the next general election will be announced by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, at a time and date of his choosing, as stipulated by law.
“We are a country of laws. The rule of law prevails in our country and the law is very clear,” he said.