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UWP concerned about plan to remove names from voters list

By SNO Staff

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The United Workers Party (UWP) has raised concerns about the Electoral Department’s proposed plan to remove 30,000 names from the list of electors.

Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Guy Joseph, during a press conference on Thursday questioned how the Electoral Department came up with the figure and said a proper explanation must be provided.

The former Communication and Works Minister said he finds it strange that the Electoral Department has now decided to come forward with this information, especially given that general elections could be called soon.

The Castries South East MP said in his constituency alone, the number of voters must have increased by almost 2,000, which should reflect an increase in the voters list and not a decrease.

Joseph said he understands that once a citizen has been out of the country for more than five years, their names would be automatically removed, but said he has some issues with that.

“I can tell you there are people who go to Martinique every two weeks and they are back in Saint Lucia and their names are there to be removed. And they are people who have been people who have been out of the country for close to 10 years and their names and not down to be removed,” he stated.

The Opposition MP said he finds the move “highly questionable,” and would only create more chaos for the upcoming elections if it is not sorted out properly. “Any right thinking Saint Lucian would know that this action is very suspicious. It is an action that questions our democracy. The basic human right that people fought so much for, was the right to vote.”

Meanwhile, UWP Leader Allen Chastanet said while he respects the work of the Electoral Department, he is surprised that such an idea is suddenly being put on the table for consideration.

“You cannot take an action on the eve of an election to take away 30,000 names when there is no proper explanation as to how those people names got there in the first place,” he stated.

Chastanet made reference to issues with voters list in the Caribbean, which has created major catastrophe. “Look at what took place in St. Kitts when they attempted to change the boundaries commission. Look at the chaos taking place in St. Vincent because people are questioning the list,” he stated.

The political leader told the media that he has received word that on the day of election, there will be a new revised list, along with a unverified list, which he dubbed as being flawed.

The UWP has written the Electoral Department requesting that they extend the deadline by one month, but the party only received verbal communication that the Department may go in this direction.

The party said it plans to conduct its own investigations, because there are many Saint Lucians, who are off the island for various reasons and this does not mean they are not returning home to vote.

The Opposition is urging the Electoral Department to inform voters before deleting their names from the voters list.

The party plans to write the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of American States (OAS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on this issue.

(11)(1)
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13 comments

  1. I know of someone who lived overseas but is now retired, he moved back to Saint Lucia 2 years ago. He only last year acquired a new Saint Lucian Identification Card and passport, he left the country in January to seek medical attention and his name appears on the List to be removed, I notified the office that he left the country in January for medical attention and asked whether he could send an Affidavit or medical certificate, I was told unless he is here in person his name will be removed from the voters list, HOW COULD THIS BE RIGHT.

    (11)(0)
  2. Is 30, 000 names or 30, 000 voters? I believe the article just said 'names'.

    I can understand with such a large list there may be some names on there which need to be removed: persons who have passed away,migrated or in no fit condition to cast a vote.

    I suppose it would be odd to have have your population data showing, for example, 60, 000 people at the legal age to vote. Yet your list of voters is at 90, 000. Obviously the mismatch needs to be corrected.

    I find worrisome however, is that politicians bicker over such trifles. Yet no one, not the opposition nor the ruling party has given any hint of a strategic plan to address the structural economic problems which affects our nation.

    They instead bark at each other to no end.
    Philosophers say that our elected politicians represent the best of our society. And if that is not the case, that our best do not come forward to represent us then that represents an even worse reality.

    Maybe one day our politicians will come together to debate and present ideas to address our economic malaise in a public forum. Maybe one day we will have the caliber of politicians I know our country deserves.

    Until then it seem we are stuck with this. Grown men arguing over why a bunch of dead people names were taken off a list intended for the living. Perhaps it is fitting, , seeing as they more closely resemble morticians tending to our corpse of a country.

    (3)(3)
  3. Is this how slp intends to remain in power? by removing persons off the voting list. how do they know that all these persons are unavailable to vote? i agree with chastanet inform the persons that their names will be removed before doing so, print the 30,000 names in the gazette and all newspapers every week for a month to ensure that all know the names down for deletion. have some transparency please.

    (8)(0)
  4. What is this now? Are they now looking to bobol the elections. Protest action must be put in place to stop this.

    (6)(0)
  5. "once a citizen has been out of the country for more than five years, their names would be automatically removed" ....this is ridiculous. As far as i'm concerned as long as you're a St Lucian and you're contributing to the GDP and the economy of your country ( e.g. sending remittances) , this democratic right should not be taken away from you no matter how long you spend out of the country. You should have a voice.

    (10)(2)
  6. Is Allan and Guy saying that the 30,000 votes are UWPees? Come on stop this.

    (4)(14)
  7. You said " a Country of 180,000 people" yeh but not all are voters.
    I dunno but I believe out of that number, a lot are those who are not
    yet of voting age. Let's say, about 140,000 are on the list, minus 30,000
    so only 110,000 could vote, if they 'all' went to the Polling station.
    I smell another bobol.

    (2)(0)
  8. This is really bad for democracy in Saint Lucia. It looks like an act of desperation by a despot. I hope Saint Lucians of voting age and visitors note what's happening and will take the appropriate action against such violation of the people's right to vote. All Caribbean countries and other countries beyond our shores will need to express their concern too. It's definitely a bloody shame on our leaders who promised to give us a better life and true democracy!

    (10)(0)
  9. 30,000 names in a country of 180,000! Am I reading this right?? That is a great deal of names to remove from voting list! what is wrong with those SLAP people!!!!! The opposition must insist that this cannot happen and file a court injunction against SLAP ASAP ! Another bobol coming our way. These red cockroaches will do anythig to remain in power. We need some strong green and yellow bottle of baygon to stop this mess!

    (48)(6)

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