Opposition continues to resist boundaries changes

(ZIZ)– Even in the midst of the excitement of the CPL Games, public discussion on finding a solution to the boundaries issue is still at the forefront.

Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, has taken the lead in the conversation following the decision of Justice Darshan Ramdahni to void the Boundaries Commission Report on the basis that the consultations undertaken by the commission had not been extensive enough.

Despite this, Prime Minister Douglas has held the position that a change to the boundaries is necessary as there is great inequality in the number of inhabitants in some constituencies.

According to Dr. Douglas, while the opposition parties have attempted to politicize the matter and blur the issue in the mind of the public, they played an integral part in the process as members of the commission.

“That is why our Constitution states that our constituencies should be as close to equal as possible.  That is why international election observers have repeatedly urged that we equalize our electoral constituencies,” he said.    “That is why the Boundaries Commission attempted to do this in 2009.  And that is why the Commission comprised of two Opposition representatives, two Government representatives, and a Chairman agreed to by both sides, began its work as far back as 2012 to equalize our constituencies:  way in advance of the Constitutionally-mandated elections of 2015.  As we know the Premier of Nevis, the senior Opposition representative on the Boundaries Commission, supported the recommended boundary alignments, and signed the report.   Specifically, this opposition representative was part of the 4 to 1 commission vote in support of the recommended constituency equalizations.”

He said despite the deep involvement of the opposition in the work of the Boundaries Commission, there are those who continue to resist the recommendations.

“Yet there are those who still resist those recommendations. Recommendations from a Commission that is comprised of Government and Opposition representatives; recommendations that were based on a 4:1 vote;  recommendations that came not from the Government, but from the Commission, on which Opposition representatives sit,” he said.

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