BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Nearly one year after a government announcement that two cabinet ministers were appointed to a Constituency Boundaries Commission, the body is yet to meet. The announcement of its establishment was made on August 30, 2018, by prime minister Dr Timothy Harris at a press conference.
The five-person commission is chaired by Calvin Pemberton with opposition nominees being: Patrice Nisbett and Konris Maynard. Government representatives are Vance Amory and Patches Liburd.
Ask if there is enough time for the existing boundaries to change, the former prime minister said although there have been several public statements from various government officials at the highest level the prime minister and the attorney general about revisiting the boundaries nothing has happened.
“We have heard and seen nothing. We know that there seem to have been a legal challenge with regard to the boundaries which were pursued by the Labour administration back in 2015,” leader of the opposition Dr Denzil L Douglas said.
“That matter seems to be still in limbo” he questioned. “You ask if there is time, enough time, I don’t know.”
However, leader of the opposition Douglas said his St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) will ensure that it participates in this exercise and citizens must also have the right in having their views considered with regard to how they would see the new boundaries affecting their lives.
“The boundaries, whatever they are, would speak to representation within a particular geographical boundary, whether there is any quality, fairness and equity in representation in the parliament.
“So all these are matters I believe which are going to be critically important in the debate and discussion when it comes to new boundaries being created. We are hoping that enough time will be given for proper debate, discussion and consultation of these critical matters which are part of the sustaining of our democracy here in St Kitts and Nevis.
“That is why we again insist that whoever is in charge of these particular proceedings that they will pursue them with a certain amount of fairness and justice,” said Dr Douglas.
Taking into consideration that the first sitting of the present parliament was in May 2015, Dr Douglas said the next elections are constitutionally due by August of next year.
Meanwhile many are of the view that The Team Unity government led by Harris has failed to deliver on good governance as promised, Ira McMahon, former head of the division of technical and vocational education and management studies at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), wrote on social media:
“Just think of the current crop of governing politicians. Every one of them have sins of either omission or commission, the prime minister made that abundantly clear. Why should we reward the incompetents, the corrupted, the opportunists and the predators with another term? The only persons who switched their vote last time and would remain with Team Unity are those who are too embarrassed and ashamed to admit they made a mistake or were misled and lied to or those who have been compromised by the political patronage system and see their fortunes and perks tied only to a TUG”, he continued.
“These categories are vastly outnumbered by independent, objective voters who have been paying attention and who voted for a different, a better governance,” he opined. “They will change governments until they get the enlightened governance they want. Few will be cynical and resign themselves to the unsatisfactory status quo,” he said.