Commonwealth Observers say they observed professional and appropriate behaviour by police and security forces

Police on Parade

FEBRUARY 24, 2010 (CUOPM) – An international organisation says its election observers did not observe any improper deployment or action by the security forces during Election Day in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Commonwealth Observer Team, headed by distinguished Team Leader, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Opposition Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs in New Zealand, the Hon. Chris Carter in its report said it observed professional and appropriate behaviour by the police and security services in their protection of the polling process.

“Police presence was to be seen at all polling stations, but officers were there only to maintain order, and not in any intimidatory or partisan capacity,” said the Report released in London on Friday by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma.

Defence Force

The Commonwealth Team stated in its 33-page report that it is aware of allegations from the main opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM) of improper conduct by the defence forces, stated categorically that Team members did not observe any improper deployment or action by the military.

“The defence force was deployed to quell potential disturbances at two polling stations in St. Kitts on election day, and in one of these where Team members were present, the army was able to maintain order without any physical violence.

Other Team members were Former Foreign Secretary of India and former Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Krishnan Srinivasan and Supervisor of Elections in Antigua and Barbuda, Ms. Lorna Simon.

The election resulted in a fourth straight win for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party which received 60 percent of the popular vote and 75 percent of the seats on St. Kitts. It won 6 of the 8 seats on St. Kitts to two by the opposition People’s Action Movement.

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