Commonwealth Election Reports

2310-1512 (online)
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Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.

The General Election in St Kitts and Nevis, 3 July 1995

The General Election in St Kitts and Nevis, 3 July 1995 You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Observer Group
01 Jan 1996
9781848595668 (PDF)

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These Election Reports are the observations, conclusions and recommendations of Commonwealth Observer Groups. The SecretaryGeneral constitutes these observer missions at the request of governments and with the agreement of all significant political parties. At the end of a mission, a report is submitted to the SecretaryGeneral, who makes it available to the government of the country in question, the political parties concerned and to all Commonwealth governments. The report eventually becomes a public document.

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  • Introduction

    The presence of a Commonwealth Observer Group at the general election in St Kitts and Nevis on 3 July 1995, arose from a request of 20 February 1995 from the Government of St Kitts and Nevis to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, to send a Commonwealth observer mission to observe the national election due before 15 November 1995.

  • The Political Background

    The Federated State of St Kitts and Nevis achieved its independence on 19 September 1983. The general election of 3 July 1995 is the fourth since independence, the other three having taken place in 1984, 1989, and 1993. It is notable that the general election of 3 July 1995 was called less than two years after the 1993 election, since that election appeared to have precipitated a period of instability and uncertainty in St Kitts and Nevis.

  • The Electoral Framework and Preparations for the Election

    St Kitts and Nevis is a federal state comprising the two islands of Saint Christopher on the one hand and Nevis on the other separated only by a narrow stretch of water. The Constitution provides for a federal Parliament comprising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (represented locally by an indigenous Governor-General) and an elected National Assembly of 11 members.

  • The Campaign and the News Media

    The style of political campaigning in the St Kitts and Nevis General Election was characterised by the blend of exuberance and heightened imagination which we witnessed night after night at well-attended rallies. These rallies became theatres of local political drama featuring a brew of politics, rumour and innuendo. Often enough the dividing line between speaker and audience became blurred as an evening rally progressed and an increasingly celebratory mood took hold of the meeting.

  • The Poll and the Count

    As a preliminary observation to the events on polling day, it would be fair to say that we found the electoral system in St Kitts and Nevis had a number of unique features which we have not encountered elsewhere, features which appear to have found broad acceptance in the community over a considerable number of years. These unique features assume a high level of trust between the voter and the polling staff which reflects a broader culture of reciprocal understanding and shared values in the nation as a whole. We recognise the importance of this infrastructure of values and shared perceptions in helping to sustain an electoral culture such as that of St Kitts and Nevis.

  • Summary of Conclusions

    Our principal conclusions.

  • Acknowledgements and Annexes
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