Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2020 (ZIZ News): Supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey says he has already set the record straight regarding allegations of government interference in his duties during the June 5 elections.
A media report today quoted former Attorney General Jason Hamilton making accusations of government interference but Mr. Bailey told ZIZ News he had already put that to rest in a press conference on June 24th.
Here is that response.
“In October of last year, I started a series of meetings; the first one was at NEMA then I had them around the country,” he said. “Based on that interaction, I selected certain people who I thought could move the process forward. I submitted those names. The Governor General according to the law may accept them, he may reject them. Some of them were not accepted, some of them were accepted. Does that indicate interference? Well, you will have to decide and debate on that one. But the Governor General exercised his discretion according to what the law allowed him to exercise in making his final decision.”
Speaking on the working relationship between the Supervisor of Elections and the Elections Commission, Bailey said both entities work independently under a ministry budget and there has been no interference in the execution of his duties.
“I am an independent thinker sir. The Electoral Commission by virtue of the way it is structure are representatives from the government side, a representative from the opposition side and a chairman appointed in the deliberate decision of the Governor General. I see it as being as independent as it can be under the circumstances. We do not have a budget; the budget is a Ministry budget. If it is that the commission itself needs to have a budget to establish its independence then I would hope that you would make that recommendation but as I sit, the way I have operated, I have had no interference to tell me to ‘do this, do that, do that, do that’,” he said.
Supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey.