Ambassador Jonel Powell addresses talks of upcoming election on Carib Update’s ‘The Week That Was’ Show
By: Chaïra Flanders
Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 12, 2020 (ZIZ News): Talks of an upcoming election in St. Kitts and Nevis have been buzzing in the air considering that Parliament is expected to dissolve automatically on Thursday, May 14 unless Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris advises His Excellency the Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC. JP, LL.D to dissolve it prior.
While appearing on Carib Update’s ‘The Week That Was’ syndicate show, National Chairman of the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), Ambassador Jonel Powell told the Presenter, Zerith McMillan that the government has a constitutional deadline to hold elections by mid-August noting that there was no need for a delay. He explained, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the political atmosphere in the country.
“There’s no need to delay. I don’t think that there is any situation that demands that. We are very much ready to go at this point in time and so it is more a question of when is the most appropriate time for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis bearing in mind the Coronavirus situation”
Ambassador Powell also explained the Novel Coronavirus has encouraged the heavy use of virtual campaigning efforts in the political arena.
“We are certainly relying a lot more on social media and radio stations to be the main outlooks in terms of how we get our messages out. The traditional door to door house to house has been cut back for obvious reasons (protocols in relation to COVID). However, in this day and age technology is the most appropriate avenue and so we are certainly utilizing that’, Powell explained.
Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron earlier announced that 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.
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, 2015.
Additionally, the constitution 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.”