Supervisor of Elections Leroy Benjamin Sr. said the Electoral Commission does not have the authority to instruct him in regard to the reinstating of names on the Voters List.
On June 7, Mr. Benjamin responded to the Electoral Commission’s May 26 letter stating that names which Registration Officer Bernadette Lawrence had removed from the Voters List in Nevis were to remain. According to the Supervisor of Elections, the Commission could only supervise his work, not tell him how to carry out his duties.
“I am fully aware that the Commission shall supervise the Supervisor of Elections in the performance of his functions. But the operative word or duty is supervise and not the giving of directions,” Benjamin’s letter said.
“I am therefore of the opinion that the Electoral Commission has no authority to instruct that “names of Voters who have been reconfirmed and issued with appropriate National Identification Cards shall remain on the Voters List as at January 2011.”
He went on to say he had sought legal advice from Senior Crown Council Arudranauth Gossai who advised him that the Electoral Commission erred by meeting with members of the Concerned Citizens Movement party (CCM) in absentia of other interest parties and persons and discussing the complaints made by CCM.
“In the circumstances I am advised that that your directions are manifestly unlawful. Accordingly I am unable to accede or give any effect to your directions.”
Benjamin contended that neither he nor the Electoral Commission has any authority to interfere and/or direct the functions of the Registration Officers in their duties to “hear and determine claims made to the Register of