THE Electoral Office, which is scrambling to get things in order for the June 6 general elections, says that voters can vote on their expired identification cards.
This comes in the wake of an influx of persons to the Electoral Office in Castries over the weekend clamouring to renew their lost or expired cards and to determine where they are voting.
That office stayed open up to 8 p.m. Sunday to accommodate the numbers that turned up to renew their identification cards and make other enquiries, going beyond the 3:00 p.m closing time previously publicized.
The office noted that as of yesterday it will only process persons applying for replacement of lost or expired identification cards, stating that this is to facilitate the publication of the Revised Lists of Electors for the conduct of the general elections.
Yesterday, despite staff at the electoral office in Castries explaining that voters can use their expired identification cards, the place was packed with people to the extent that the flow spilled onto the street.
Weighing in on the announcement of June 6 as voting day is the National Students’ Council expressing its concerns over general elections and CXC examinations being held on the same day.
The concerns were first raised by the opposition United Workers Party last Friday at a press conference stating that this may interfere with the concentration of students.
The National Students’ Council is raising similar concerns and hoping that the elections will not provide discomfort to students.
“The National Students’ Council is questioning the level of consideration shown to the students of Saint Lucia by the government, following the announcement of the June 6 election date. As outlined in the CXC timetable, Food & Nutrition and Additional Mathematics are scheduled for June 6, 2016. The date selection has left many of our students along with parents curious as to the extent to which the general elections may affect the progress of such examinations. The council hopes that the execution of elections in Saint Lucia will not provide discomfort for students seeking to excel at this critical juncture in their lives,” the Council stated in a release Saturday.
“We therefore plead to the government to provide the students of Saint Lucia with adequate information ahead of the elections to avoid a state of confusion and mishap,” the release further stated.
It is still unclear how many persons will be contesting the general elections although both the main parties, the St. Lucia Labour Party and the United Workers Party have said they will field full slates of 17 candidates.
Another party, the Lucian Peoples Movement earlier had spoken of fielding one person, its leader Therold Prudent for Gros Islet.
So far two persons have spoken out presenting themselves to the electorate as Independents, namely Richard Frederick for Castries Central who happens to be the incumbent and Jeanine Compton, daughter of former Prime Minister, deceased Sir John Compton for the Micoud South seat.
Nomination day, which is this Friday will determine how many persons will contest the elections.
Fifty-two candidates contested the last general elections in 2011. They were from five political parties namely the St. Lucia Labour Party, the United Workers Party, the National Development Movement, the Lucian Peoples Movement and the Lucian Green Party. There were four Independents.
At that elections 83,655 votes were cast with the SLP winning 49.68%, the UWP 45.83%. Invalid votes were 2,166. There were 150,996 registered voters.