The OAS Electoral Observation Mission has confirmed that two days prior to the July 11th Nevis Island Assembly Elections, voter names had been “added to and removed” from the voter’s list. The presence of the five-member team of experts in Nevis marked the first time the OAS had deployed a mission to observer a local election in the Caribbean.
Monday’s NIA elections saw the incumbent Premier Joseph Parry-led Nevis Reformation Party return to government with a controvertible 3-2 win over the Concerned Citizens Movement.
According to a statement issued by the OAS following the election, the observers collected complaints regarding the addition and removal of names from the voters list and its legal expert observed the related cases presented before the High Court last Friday. Based on their independent observations, the OAS team expressed concern with the process.
“The Mission noted that the procedures for objections and claims leading to the addition and removal of names and the dissemination of updated lists caused controversy. In this regard, observers confirmed that in some cases, notifications to voters whose names had been objected to were delivered after the scheduled hearing date, and that the procedure for investigation and resolution of objections lacked proper definition and transparency,” the statement read.
The OAS observer team went on to say that it confirmed the use of “modified” voters lists on Election Day, lists it said were different to the ones distributed by the election authorities on June 29th and July 1st.
“On election day, the observers detected that a modified voter registration list had been produced for several districts on July 9th, while other districts maintained lists published on June 29th and July 1st. The Mission confirmed that voter names had been both added and subtracted to form the updated lists, thereby altering the eligibility for voting in certain areas two days prior to the election. This situation contributed to the atmosphere of confusion about and mistrust of the voter registration list that was