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Team Unity wins St Kitts and Nevis 2015 general election

kn_election_2015BASSETERRE, St Kitts, 17 February 2015 (CMC, AP) – The Supervisor of Elections, Wingrove George, broke his silence on Tuesday and named Team Unity, an amalgam of three opposition parties as the winner of Monday’s general election in St Kitts-Nevis.

But while George said that Team Unity, led by the 51-year-old economist Dr. Timothy Harris  had won seven of the 11 seats contested in the general election, he gave no figures, saying that they would be provided later on Tuesday night.

The other four seats were won by the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) and the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) that had formed an accommodation to contest the polls in which outgoing Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas was seeking to become the first regional politician to win five consecutive general elections.

Team Unity comprises the main opposition People’s Action Movement (AM), the recently formed People’s Labour Party (PLP) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM).

Dr. Timothy S. Harris

Dr. Timothy S. Harris

Election 2015 winners and losers

Final results from Monday’s election were still pending (note officially released until 4 March 2015 – see below) , but the Team Unity alliance said it won at least seven of the 11 seats in Parliament –  five of the eight seats in St. Kitts and two of the three in Nevis.

kn_winners_2015

Among the casualties of the election were deputy prime minister Dr. Assim Martin who lost to newcomer Ian Liburd and Sports Minister Glen Phillip who lost to former PAM leader Lindsay Grant. Former deputy prime minister Sam Condor, the deputy leader of the PLP was also defeated in the election.

Prime Minister Douglas won emphatically in Constituency Six, as did Harris in Constituency Seven, while on Nevis, Premier Vance Amory, the CCM leader trounced the NRP’s candidate Cory Tyson by a margin of 754 to 306 votes.

Marcella Liburd, the health minister in the outgoing government won the first seat for the SKNLP polling 1,775 votes as against 1 643 for her challenger Jonel Powell of Team Unity.

Here is the official list of 2015 winners:

Constituency  Winning Candidate Party
St. Christopher #1 Ian LIBURD PAM
St. Christopher #2 Marcella LIBURD SKNLP
St. Christopher #3 Konris MAYNARD  SKNLP
St. Christopher #4 Lindsay GRANT PAM
St. Christopher #5 Shawn RICHARDS PAM
St. Christopher #6 Denzil DOUGLAS SKNLP
St. Christopher #7 Timothy HARRIS PLP
St. Christopher #8 Eugene HAMILTON PAM
Nevis #9 Mark BRANTLEY CCM
Nevis #10 Vance AMORY CCM
Nevis #11 Patrice NISBETT NRP

2015 Electoral Map

kn_electoral_map_2015

Summary Results (released 4 March 2015)

  Total Votes % votes Candidates Seats
St Kitts Nevis Labour Party 11,897 39.27% 8 3
People’s Action Movement 8,452 27.90% 6 4
People’s Labour Party 2,723 8.99% 2 1
Concerned Citizens’ Movement 3,951 13.04% 3 2
Nevis Reformation Party 3,276 10.81% 3 1
Total Valid Votes 30,299 100% 22 11
Invalid Votes 156
Total Votes Cast 30,455
Registered Voters 42,185
Voter Turnout 72.19%

Summary Results by Constituency and Party (released 4 March 2015)

Constituency  Registered Voters SKNLP PAM PLP CCM NRP Valid Votes Invalid Votes Total Votes Voter Turnout
St. Christopher #1 5,036 1,727 1,731  -  -  - 3,458 21 3,479 69.08%
St. Christopher #2 4,740 1,758 1,660  -  -  - 3,418 15 3,433 72.43%
St. Christopher #3 3,265 1,348  - 1,076  -  - 2,424 29 2,453 75.13%
St. Christopher #4 3,166 1,216 1,252  - -  - 2,468 13 2,481 78.36%
St. Christopher #5 3,107 884 1,245  -  -  - 2,129 8 2,137 68.78%
St. Christopher #6 2,823 1,969 200  -  -  - 2,169 6 2,175 77.05%
St. Christopher #7 3,191 867  - 1,647  -  - 2,514 22 2,536 79.47%
St. Christopher #8 5,753 2,128 2,364  - - - 4,492 13 4,505 78.31%
Nevis #9 6,127  - - - 2,033 1,715 3,748 20 3,768 61.50%
Nevis #10 1,393  -  -  - 754 306 1,060 3 1,063 76.31%
Nevis #11 3,584  -  -  - 1,164 1,255 2,419 6 2,425 67.66%
Total 42,185 11,897 8,452 2,723 3,951 3,276 30,299 156 30,455 72.19%

Final results released

The final results of the 16 February 2015 General Elections were finally made available by Supervisor of Elections Wingrove George on Wednesday, 4 March 2015 – comes two weeks after the national poll was held.

It shows that in Constituency Number One Labour candidate Dr. Asim Martin received 1727 votes to PAM’s Ian Patch Liburd’s 1,731, making Liburd the winner by four votes.

The results also confirm that Labour’s Marcella Liburd got 1,758 votes to PAM’s Jonel Powell 1660 in Constituency #2.

The former Health Minister won the seat by 98 votes.

In Constituency Number 3 Labour’s Konris Maynard won by 272 votes – his total was 1,348 to the 1,076 obtained by Sam Condor of the PLP.

That constituency had the most spoilt ballots in the election – 26.

Constituency 4 saw PAM’s Lindsay Grant getting 1252 votes, winning the seat by 36 votes.  His rival Glen Phillip of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party got 1,216 votes.

PAM leader Shawn Richards in Constituency #5 had 1,245 people vote for him while his rival, Labour’s Dr Norgen Wilson received 884 votes.  That means that Richards got 361 more votes than he did.

In Constituency Number 6 Dr Denzil Douglas had a sweeping victory, getting 1969 votes to the 200 obtained by PAM’s Vernon Connor.  The Douglas win was by a huge margin of 1,769.

Team Unity and the PLP prevailed in Constituency #7 – Dr Timothy Harris polled 1647 votes to Vance Gilbert’s 867.  Dr Harris got 780 votes more than Labour’s Gilbert.

The race in Number 8 was won by PAM’s Eugene Hamilton – he got 2364 votes to Dr Terrance Drew’s 2128.  Hamilton received 236 more votes there than Dr Drew.

In Nevis – Constituency Number 9 the fight was between CCM’s Mark Brantley and NRP’s Robelto Hector.  The final tally shows Brantley 2,033, Hector 1,715.  That translates into 318 more votes for Brantley.  That Constituency had the highest number of rejected ballots in the election – 19.

Premier Vance Amory easily retained his Constituency Number Ten seat, getting 754 to the 306 won by NRP’s Corey Tyson.  Premier Amory got 448 votes more than his rival.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister Patrice Nisbett was also able to retain his Constituency Number 11 seat.

The NRP’s Nisbett received 1,255 votes – the CCM’s Alexis Jeffers got 1164.   Nisbett polled 91 more votes than Jeffers.

The results confirmed what the supervisor of elections had already reported on the evening of Tuesday February 17, the day after the elections, that the PAM/PLP/CCM coalition won 7 of the eleven seats, with the other four going to the SKNLP/NRP.

In terms of the coalition PAM won four seats, the PLP one and the CCM two.

The Labour Party took three and NRP one.

Supervisor of Elections breaks silence

In his brief radio broadcast, George defended the decision not to make public earlier Tuesday, the result of the polls, apologising to the nation “for the length of time this might have taken, but we have to remember that sometimes to be sure we have to take our time.

“The writ issued by the Governor General to the Returning Officers they have up until the 18 (February) to give me the final decision.

“So even though it might be long, it is not unlawful, it is not illegal and they would not go wrong in taking their time to do what they have to do.

“Like I said this morning there were certain processes to go through, we had challenges, we had reviews, and it would have been very unprofessional of me , as Supervisor of Elections to go and make announcements while the whole process will be revisited because if anything was to take a different turn I would have had to be updating and retracting statements”.

George said he believed making the statement now “was the opportune time and the relevant time to say what is the final decision and for those who might be suggesting that I am using delaying tactics there is nothing to delay about the fact.

“It is just to make sure the information reported is really the fact and to do it hastily would and could ensure you aren’t reporting the facts,” he said.

George was widely criticized earlier Tuesday after he suspended reporting of partial results.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and other observers called for ballot counting to be expedited. Political leaders from other regional nations said George’s office needed to hurry up and deliver the results, which had been expected early in the day since St. Kitts and Nevis has only about 36,000 registered voters.

“The region’s reputation for democracy and for free and fair elections will be under threat as long as this issue in St. Kitts and Nevis remains unresolved,” Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement.

George told state-owned radio and TV station ZIZ that some candidates were contesting preliminary results, slowing an official announcement from his office.

“We don’t want to hurriedly make decisions and determinations that we can’t recall,” George was quoted as saying.

Douglas concedes defeat

Outgoing Prime Minister Denzil Douglas conceded defeat late Tuesday afternoon, extending his congratulations to the Team Unity coalition led by Timothy Harris, a former minister in his Cabinet.

“I wish our newly elected government well,” said Douglas, who had been prime minister since 1995.

Harris, the prime minister-elect for his bloc as it prepares to begin a five-year term, called it a “great day” for the twin-island country, which is one of the smallest nations in the world with roughly 55,000 inhabitants.

Statement of the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas,  Prime Minister, St. Kitts & Nevis following the official  declaration of the results of February 16, 2015 Election

To the newly elected members of the People’s Action Movement, the Concerned Citizens Movement and the Peoples Labour Party, I extend sincere congratulations in response to your success at the polls.

To the people of St. Kitts & Nevis, I extend, on behalf of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, sincere and enduring gratitude for the sacred honor that you bestowed on our Party, by permitting us to manage the affairs of our blessed nation for the past twenty years.

To the friends and members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party – you have my undying gratitude.

We, in St. Kitts & Nevis, are among the blessed of the earth.

And we are among the blessed of the earth because our governments are chosen, not by force, not by decree, not by the whim of any force or interest, but by the will of the people.

May we – the people of St. Kitts & Nevis – never, ever forget how truly blessed this makes us.

This has been a long and hard election campaign. And what the impassioned, but peaceful – always peaceful – public meetings, rallies, and jousting said to the world, time and again, was that ours is a vibrant and mature democracy, and that Kittitians and Nevisians, a politically mature and responsible people.

I shall forever cherish having been given the opportunity to lead the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. And for this most precious of opportunities, I once again thank you.

The elections are now over, and although we still await the announcement of the preliminary results, I wish our newly elected Government well.

And I pray for God’s blessings and guidance as we move toward this new phase in our extraordinary country’s history.

Thank you.

CARICOM Chair issues Statement on St. Kitts-Nevis situation

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie of The Bahamas has said the Caribbean Community is extremely concerned that the results of the preliminary count of Monday’s general elections in St. Kitts and Nevis has not been officially declared, and he has called on the Supervisor of Elections to do so without further delay.

In a Statement issued on Tuesday, the CARICOM Chairman also called on all concerned to fulfil their obligations in the electoral process, respect the will of the people and ensure that the democratic traditions of the Caribbean Community are upheld.

Prime Minister Christie congratulated the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the peaceful manner in which the voting was conducted, despite some challenges.

The full text of the statement appears below:

On behalf of the Caribbean Community, I congratulate the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the peaceful manner in which polling at the general elections was conducted yesterday, 16 February 2015. In a preliminary report to the CARICOM Secretary-General, the Chief of the CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission stated that the process was generally orderly, despite some challenges.

CARICOM is therefore extremely concerned that the Supervisor of Elections has not yet officially declared the results of the preliminary count. The Caribbean Community calls on the Supervisor of the Elections to do so without further delay. The time-honoured practice in St. Kitts and Nevis has been to release the preliminary results of elections within hours of the close of the polls. The non-release of the preliminary results is therefore unacceptable and creates a climate of uncertainty.

I call on all concerned to fulfill their obligations in the electoral process, to respect the will of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and to ensure that the democratic traditions of our Caribbean Community are upheld.