aspiration of the people of Nevis to be free to
govern their own affairs has a long and deep-rooted history that dates
back to the year 1882. Prior to that
date, the people of Nevis were free to
determine the policies and programmes that governed the island albeit
within the framework of a colony of England.
freedom enjoyed prior to 1882 ended with an unwilling union with St.
Kitts that was enforced by virtue of our colonial relationship. Almost immediately, the people of Nevis
began to advocate for a separation from St. Kitts.
The large majority of the
instances in which we pressed our case for a return to self-governance
are well documented, some of which are detailed below to illustrate the
unwavering aspiration of the people of Nevis to
be masters of their own destiny:
1. In 1921, the people
of Nevis wrote to the Secretary of State for
the colonies in London
requesting that His Majesty’s Government sanction the separation of Nevis
from St. Kitts.
2. In 1961,
approximately four thousand persons assembled at Grove
in a demonstration sponsored by the United National Movement urging
that Nevis secede from the union with St. Kitts. At that demonstration, a resolution was
moved by the people for Nevis to be separated
from St. Kitts.
3. In 1975, the
manifesto of the Nevis Reformation Party was in the following terms:
“The Nevis Reformation Party will strive at all costs to gain secession
for Nevis from St. Kitts – a privilege enjoyed
by the island of Nevis
prior to 1882.”
4. On August 18, 1977, an
unofficial referendum for secession was organized by the Nevis
Reformation Party. Of the 4,220
persons who voted, 4,193 voted ‘yes’ for secession, 14 persons voted
‘no’ and there were 13 spoilt ballots.
5. Approximately 21
years after the unofficial referendum of August 1998, the people of
Nevis once again voted in a referendum, this time in accordance with
Section 113 of the St. Christopher and Nevis Constitutional Order 1983. Of the 3,935 persons who voted, 2,427 voted
‘yes’, 1,498 voted ‘no’ and there were 11 rejected ballots.
Approximately 62% of the electorate voted in favour of the separation
of Nevis from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
2. Prelude to Independence (1983)
the general elections of 1980, the Peoples Action Movement and the
Nevis Reformation Party formed a coalition government for St.
Kitts and Nevis. Not
long after, the government initiated discussions to move St.
Kitts and Nevis into political
new government presented a White Paper and proposals for a new
Constitution. Included amongst these
proposals were provisions for:
the creation of a Nevis
Island Assembly, with increased powers to
make laws with exclusive control over 21 specified matters which are
enshrined in Schedule 5 of the Constitution;
the creation of the Nevis
Island Administration; and,
the right of Nevis
to secede from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis
as enshrined in Section 113 of the Constitution.
These provisions were undoubtedly included to
signify the right of the people of Nevis to
move our island into independence at the appropriate time.
the other hand, the Labour Party, which until 1980 represented the
dominant political force in St. Kitts, outlined its own vision for an
independent St. Kitts and an independent Nevis. The Labour Party’s philosophy was expressed in
its Green Paper of 1982 and its manifestos of 1993, 1995 and 2000. The Green Paper in particular, stated in part that:
“nothing short of full and
complete responsibility for their own affairs will satisfy the people
“the Labour Party interprets
the results of the last General Elections in Nevis
as an expression by the vast majority of the people of Nevis
of a firm desire for the secession of Nevis
from St. Kitts”
“each island should have its
own separate constitution, legislature, government and political system”
“the people of each island
should strengthen the bonds of friendship and family between the
“there should be a Treaty of
Friendship between the islands which should provide for the free
movement of people, trade and access to records with a joint committee
to review relations between the islands on an ongoing basis”.
3. A ‘Unique’
September 19, 1983, the islands of St.
Kitts and Nevis became an independent
nation known as the “Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis”.
The Federation is governed by a constitution that is unique.
new constitution contained a provision for the separation of Nevis from
the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis - Section 113,
which gives Nevis the right,
whenever it desires, to cease to be federated with the island of St.
Kitts on a successful referendum held on Nevis only!
It was the expressed intention of the Nevis Reformation Party to allow
the people of Nevis a sufficient period within which to enjoy some semblance of
self-governance, under the new constitution, before proceeding to full
4. Post Independence
Reformation Party soon found, however, that notwithstanding the new
constitutional powers granted to Nevis, and its political alliance with
the Peoples Action Movement in St. Kitts, the new Nevis Island
Administration was hampered in its ability to carry out its
constitutional obligations and had to face up to several harsh
among these was the fact that although exclusive powers were granted to
the Nevis Island Administration, the Administration was fettered in its
ability to carry out a large part of its constitutional functions. For
example, the Nevis Island Administration has exclusive administrative
authority over a number of areas. Chief
among these are education and health. Whilst
the Nevis Island Administration can administer education and health,
the Nevis Island Legislature has no power to legislate over these two
amounted to the Nevis Island Administration being hamstrung with the
economic responsibility to pay for education and health services,
without any authority to make laws over these matters.
It is ironic that these two
areas that require some of the largest expenditure, approximately 29%
of the Nevis Island Administration’s recurrent budget, are outside the
bounds of the law making authority of the Nevis Island Assembly.
second harsh reality that faced the Nevis Island Administration was the
paucity of economic resources to govern the island.
Almost from its inception,
the Administration began to encounter financial difficulties. Many of the cheques issued by the
Administration were not honoured due to a lack of funds.
On numerous occasions public
servants working for the Nevis Island Administration were not paid on
time. Overall, the Administration
experienced severe constraints in meeting its new financial obligations.
new reality was set in political circumstances where the Nevis
Reformation Party continued with its coalition arrangement with the
Peoples Action Movement in St. Kitts. It
must be noted that the vast majority of Nevisians and residents of Nevis
leaving the Federation departed from St. Kitts. This
meant that departure taxes were paid in St. Kitts.
Furthermore, the bulk of
cargo destined for Nevis entered the Federation
through St. Kitts. Custom duties
were therefore paid in St. Kitts.
of the other matters that continue to constitute a particularly sore
point for Nevisians is corporation tax.
Many of the businesses that
operate in Nevis are headquartered in St. Kitts. This means that at the end of the
financial year, when corporate taxes are due and payable, much of the
taxes are paid to St. Kitts, despite the fact that profits for those
businesses are derived from Nevis.
the difficulties encountered in the legislative arena compounded by the
economic realities, it was not long before the people of Nevis,
once again, began to agitate for independence.
5. The Emergence of
the Concerned Citizens Movement
the mid 1980’s the people of Nevis again became
increasingly concerned about the economic and political partnership
with St. Kitts. Despite the exclusive powers that were granted to the
Nevis Legislature together with the economic empowerment of the Nevis
Island Administration, many Nevisians were resolute in their view that
only full independence would allow us to attain our full potential.
fiscal problems, which plagued the Nevis Island Administration, as well
as the various shortcomings inherent in the new constitutional
arrangement, were sufficient to transform the rumblings of discontent
into a pre-potent cry for change. This
cry was answered by the formation of a new political force in Nevis
in the form of the Concerned Citizens Movement.
party was formed with the specific intent of fostering a constitutional
change in the relationship between St.
Kitts and Nevis.
The Concerned Citizens
Movement advocated from its very inception for constitutional reform
that would allow Nevis to have greater autonomy
in administering its own affairs and in its relationship with St. Kitts.
the June 1, 1992,
the people of Nevis gave the mandate to the
Concerned Citizens Movement to lead Nevis into
the future. The Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory, in his
New Year messages for 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 pleaded for reform of
preparation for the Federal Elections that were due in 1993, the
Concerned Citizens Movement published a policy statement that outlined:
Constitutional reform was
necessary for the people of Nevis to have full
control over the legislative, political and economic decisions that
affect the island.
The islands of St.
Kitts and Nevis develop along lines
that are conducive to the specific situations that are unique to each
arrangement between the islands is absurd and serves only to frustrate
the wishes of the people of Nevis.
The wishes of the Nevis
Island Administration and the people of Nevis
should not have to be sanctioned or approved by the Federal Government
of St. Kitts.
Constitutional reform will
take the affairs of Nevis out of the control of
a political party in St. Kitts.
Concerned Citizens Movement took on the responsibility of the
government of Nevis with two primary objectives. Firstly, it wanted to expand the
economic base of the island by the diversification of the economy and
providing and sustaining an economic environment, which encouraged and
the new government embarked on an ambitious infrastructure development
programme. This initiative was based
on the Concerned Citizens Movement’s view that the requisite
infrastructure had to be in place in order for Nevis
to achieve greater autonomy over its own affairs.
The programme included the
total transformation of the Charlestown
port, the construction of the Long Point deep-water harbour, a new
Island Main Road Project and the upgrading and expansion of the airport.
6. Prelude to the
1998 Secession Vote
of the major planks of the Concerned Citizens Movement’s economic
programme was the development of the financial services sector. The
government recognized early in its tenure, the rapid growth of the
financial services sector on the international market and its potential
benefits to the economy and people of Nevis.
The island had already made inroads into this sector
with the enactment of legislation in 1984.
government of the Concerned Citizens Movement made sweeping legislative
reforms, which propelled Nevis into being
regarded as one of the premier jurisdictions for international
financial services. These
legislative changes soon sparked a total transformation in the local
economy. Within a relatively short
period, revenue from the financial services sector constituted more
than ten percent of direct revenue to government.
This burgeoning sector of
the economy positively impacted the rental of office and residential
accommodations, employment of Nevisians and general spending in Nevis. Finally, it seemed that the economic
vision of the government of the Concerned Citizens Movement was being
transformed into reality.
sooner had the Concerned Citizens Movement began to reap the benefits
of its new economic initiative, that the Nevis Island Administration
received the startling news that the National Assembly in St. Kitts was
preparing legislation that was similar in purpose and intent to the
financial services legislation which existed in Nevis. What was most alarming to the Concerned
Citizens Movement, the opposition Nevis Reformation Party and the
Peoples Action Movement in St. Kitts, was that, the legislation
attempted to undermine the legitimate constitutional authority of the
Nevis Island Assembly and the Nevis Island Administration.
Even worse, was the fear
that the economic transformation in the Nevis
economy would be destroyed.
of a desire for self- preservation, to protect the economic gains
achieved by the people of Nevis and to
safeguard the integrity of the constitutional authority of institutions
in Nevis, this development sparked the
appointment of a Constitutional Committee by the Nevis Island
Administration. The responsibility
of the Committee was to examine the deteriorating relationship between St.
Kitts and Nevis and to advise the
Administration whether the constitutional arrangement between the
islands should continue.
June 1996, all the Members of the Opposition in the National Assembly
in St. Kitts objected to the introduction of four Bills into the
Federal Parliament. Despite the
objections the Bills were introduced and received their first reading. Thus began the Concerned Citizens
Movement’s journey to seek independence for Nevis
in accordance with section 113 of the Constitution of St. Christopher
Nevis Island Administration engaged the services of noted
constitutional scholar Dr. Lloyd Barnett to assist with the draft of a
new constitution for Nevis.
The leader of the Concerned
Citizens Movement and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory,
began extensive lobbying efforts with regional leaders and the
accredited diplomatic corps and articulated the reasons why Nevis
was pursuing its goal for independence.
Nevis Island Administration also published a White Paper outlining its
vision for an independent Nevis. This was
followed shortly by a Paper showing the financial implications of
secession. On June 17, 1997, the Secession
Bill received its first reading in the Nevis Island Assembly. On October 13, 1997, the Secession Bill was passed
by the unanimous vote of all the elected Members of the Nevis Island
Draft Constitution for the island
of Nevis was tabled in the
Nevis Island Assembly on November
13, 1997. The
Administration later appointed a Constitutional Committee with the
following terms of reference:
“To hold public meetings throughout Nevis and invite all shades of public opinion
on the proposed constitution” and,
“To advise the Administration of what changes
(if any) should be made to the proposed constitution”.
June 12, 1998, the Constitutional Committee
presented its report to the Honourable Premier. On July 13, 1998, the Nevis Island
Assembly passed a Resolution setting August 10, 1998, as the day for the people of Nevis
to vote in a referendum for the secession of Nevis
from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. In accordance with Section 113 of the
Constitution, the regional election observer group “Citizens Allied for
Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE)” arrived in Nevis
to observe the referendum.
the close of polling, the votes cast in favour of Nevis
seceding from the Federation were 2,427 and the votes cast against
numbered 1,498. There were 11 rejected
ballots. Nevis missed its opportunity for
independence by the narrowest of margins.
7. A New and
the 1998 referendum, the Nevis Island Administration has reviewed and
analysed exhaustively possible factors which resulted in that
two-thirds “yes” vote not being achieved. The Administration
acknowledges the concerns expressed then by the people, which might
have helped to cause the marginal defeat. Such
concerns included inadequate public education, insufficient involvement
of the social partners and the political disharmony on the island.
Additionally, an acrimonious environment clouded the relationship
between St. Kitts and Nevis
at that particular time. Due to the nature
of this relationship between the two islands, the Federal Government
was not minded to engage in any discussions with regard to a possible
an atmosphere of consultation and dialogue, both the Federal Government
in St. Kitts and the Nevis Island Administration are even more
persuaded that the present constitution does not operate in the best
interests of St. Kitts and Nevis. It is out of this reality that a Select
Committee of the Federal Parliament was appointed to examine the way
forward for St. Kitts and Nevis. The Concerned Citizens Movement has met with
this Select Committee and articulated its vision for an independent Nevis.
The Nevis Island Administration has had meetings with the opposition
Nevis Reformation Party in an effort to have a bipartisan approach
towards our independence. Both the Concerned Citizens Movement and the
Nevis Reformation Party have indicated their preference not
to participate in another Federal Election. This view was expressed at
a joint meeting of parliamentarians of the Federation, held in St.
Kitts on February 18, 2003.
examined the multiplicity of views and options, regarding the future
constitutional relationship between Nevis and St. Kitts, including the
concept of a true Federation based on equity and the concept of a Confederation,
the Nevis Island Administration has determined that the most
conclusive, harmonious and practical approach is through the
constitutional route available by way of Section 113, which allows for
the separation of Nevis from St. Kitts.
Concerned Citizens Movement-led Administration has met and canvassed
the views of Social Partners, the Christian Council and Evangelical
Association, Nevis Chapter of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce,
Nevis Hotels and Tourism Association, Permanent Secretaries and Senior
Public Servants, Representatives of Community and Youth Groups, to list
Concerned Citizens Movement-led Administration is also engaged in
continuing dialogue with the Federal Government to ensure a smooth
transition without any element of uncertainty.
This new and different
approach seeks to inform all stakeholders and to solicit their support
in our desire to serve the best interests of the people of Nevis
and the people of St. Kitts as two separate and independent states. To this end, the Nevis Island Administration
is proposing a “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation”
between an independent Nevis
and an independent St. Kitts which will address issues of travel,
trade, property and security, among other things.
topic appears to be the single greatest area of concern to most
Nevisians. The people of these two
islands have always enjoyed unimpeded access to conduct their business,
further their education and engage in social interaction.
It is our view that these
long established traditions should continue between the two islands.
light of this, the Administration proposes that:
Nevisians travelling to St.
Kitts from Nevis or Kittitians travelling to Nevis
from St. Kitts would not require any travel documents.
Tourists, residents and
visitors, would only show proof that they were
admitted to either of the
islands, if required.
of the pillars of the economic success of St.
Kitts and Nevis is the ability of our
people to interact on matters of trade without prohibition. The Administration is mindful of the
fact that a harmonious and equitable trade structure is central to the
viability of the entire Caribbean Community.
In order to achieve a trade
relationship that serves the best interests of our two islands, the
Administration proposes that:
Goods that are produced in Nevis
or St. Kitts, including but not limited to agricultural products,
manufactured goods and seafood, be traded freely between the islands
without the imposition of any duties or taxes.
Duties and/or taxes on
goods, which are produced outside St. Kitts and Nevis and shipped
through one island destined for the other, are placed in bond, so that
the duty only be paid at the port of consignment.
A committee be established,
with representatives from each island to review on an on-going basis
the matter of trade between the islands.
the present constitutional arrangement, citizens of St.
Kitts and Nevis are at liberty to hold
properties in either island without the need for an alien land holding
license. The Nevis Island
Administration proposes that citizens of St. Kitts and an independent Nevis,
be allowed to hold property in either island without the requirement of
obtaining a license.
11. Work Permits
people of St. Kitts and the people of Nevis
have always enjoyed the right to work within either island without any
restriction. The Administration has
noted the actions taken by the Caribbean Community to encourage the
employment of professional persons within the islands regardless of
nationality. We firmly believe that
this right to work within St. Kitts and
Nevis should not be abrogated in any
travel daily to St. Kitts to work just as Kittitians travel daily to Nevis
for the same purpose. We are
convinced that nationals of Nevis and St. Kitts
should be free to pursue employment and business opportunities in
either island. The Administration
proposes that Nevisians do not require a permit to work in St. Kitts,
and by the same token, Kittitians do not require a permit to work in Nevis.
Nevis Island Administration proposes to assume responsibility for the
Police, Prison, Coast Guard and Fire Services after independence. The
Administration recognizes the importance of the security forces to the
maintenance of law and order and thus is resolute in ensuring that this
transfer of authority is effected smoothly.
Administration is of the view that members of the police force have
given impartial and distinguished service to our island over these many
years and is therefore committed to retaining the institutional
knowledge that now resides in the force. It
is also the intention to increase the complement of the force to enable
officers to better carry out the performance of their duties.
Administration proposes that our own Coast Guard patrol the borders of Nevis.
Its primary functions would be to provide search and rescue services. Due to the close proximity of the two
islands, we also propose that a Committee be appointed with
representatives from both islands to have regular meetings and share
information on any issues of security. We
propose that one of the first considerations for the Committee should
be an action plan to prevent criminal elements avoiding capture by
fleeing to the territorial waters of either island.
Administration is cognizant of the threat posed by drug and weapons
trafficking to the stability and integrity of our social and political
institutions. It is our sworn duty
to do all that is within our power to nurture and strengthen the
institutions that work to safeguard our shores from the scourge of
drugs and weapons trafficking. We
will join with the regional and international community to eradicate
13. Social Security
matter of Social Security commands paramount interest across all
sectors of the St. Kitts and Nevis
society. This is completely
understandable as every single person is impacted in one way or another
by the benefits to be derived from the social security programme. It is out of this recognition of the
importance of this programme to all of us why we now propose that the
social security programme continue to be conducted under the present
arrangement until the Government of Nevis determines the appropriate
time to establish its own independent scheme.
we would wish to see equal representation on the Social Security Board,
we must be cognizant of the difference in populations and
contributions. The Administration however wishes to see several changes
which, to our minds, will ensure greater protection of the
contributions and entitlement of the people of Nevis.
example, the Administration proposes that any loan or grant funding by
the Social Security Board to either the Government of St. Kitts or the
Government of Nevis, must obtain the approval of every single member of
the Board. This will also apply to
any loan or grant funding to any Government related agency or
institution on either island. By
having this safeguard in place we believe that the benefits to both
Nevisians and Kittitians can continue without detriment to the fund or
contributors from either island.
14. National Assets
The Nevis Island Administration recognizes that
the Federal Government exercises control over several national assets
including National Bank, St. Kitts and Nevis Development Bank and
shares in Cable and Wireless - St. Kitts and Nevis Limited. The Administration proposes to negotiate
the division of these assets with the Federal Government.
“Now” is the Right Time
decision to move our island once again towards independence is the
result of intense discussions on what future course is best suited for
us as a people. Having consulted
with the major stakeholders in Nevis, and
having examined and analysed the report of the Parliamentary Select
Committee, the Administration is absolutely convinced that the
prevailing opinion throughout the entire Federation is for the
political and economic separation of the two islands.
Nevis Island Administration is cognizant of the common expressed
preference by both the Concerned Citizens Movement and the Nevis
Reformation Party not to participate in another
Federal Election. This common
position has served to fortify the aspirations of all stakeholders to
have an environment that is free of acrimony and party politics.
and apart from the supporting views and opinions of all sectors of the
population of St. Kitts and Nevis,
there are three additional factors that serve to support the decision
for independence. These are the
development of our physical infrastructure, the maturity of the
parliamentary and democratic process in Nevis
and the financial viability of an independent Nevis.
of the cornerstones for economic development, foreign investment and
social harmony, is the development of the infrastructure of a country. This development normally envisages the
construction of suitable and appropriate facilities for air and sea
transport as well as ease of travel within the geographical boundaries
of a jurisdiction.
stated earlier, the Concerned Citizens Movement party in government
assumed office with the stated priority commitment to tackle the
infrastructural challenges that inhibited the progress towards
independence. The people of Nevis
have, over the last several years, witnessed the spectacular
transformation of the Nevis landscape. Perhaps no other project has impacted
the lives of our people than completion of the first phase of the
Island Main Road Project. This
project has certainly had a positive effect on all our people in terms
of the enhanced driving comfort, reduced travel time and reduced
expenditure on fuel and spare parts.
the commencement of our tenure in office, the Concerned Citizens
Movement made it an obligation to address the state of the Charlestown
Pier. The remarkable change in the
aesthetics of the pier and its conversion to accommodate mainly
passenger traffic has served to virtually eliminate the congestion
which had become so endemic to this part of Charlestown. The opening of Long
has transformed the way Nevis handles the
importation of cargo. Matters
relating to customs can now be transacted in an atmosphere which is
conducive to business and which recognizes the value of time.
extension of the runway, construction of a new control tower and the
opening of the terminal building at the Vance
were pivotal moments in the history of air transport for our island. We can now boast of a modern,
state-of-the-art facility that rivals any other airport in the Caribbean
in terms of services offered to passengers. The
fact that our airport can now accommodate the American Eagle and LIAT
is certainly a source of pride for all of us.
The ability to travel direct
to the major regional gateway in Puerto Rico
has considerably reduced the amount of time expended by travellers
arriving and departing from Nevis.
Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis is unique
among constitutions for a federation. Its
uniqueness is derived from the fact that it empowers the Nevis Island
Legislature to make laws that cannot be abrogated by the National
Assembly. This exclusive law making
power was enshrined in the Constitution for the special purpose of
allowing the island of Nevis
to develop the political and legislative maturity to proceed into
have, as an island, over the last twenty years, created a vibrant and
dynamic political and legislative culture that embodies the very
essence of democracy. We the people
of this jewel in the Caribbean have repeatedly
demonstrated our commitment to all the principles that are sacred to
the preservation of the democratic process and democratic institutions.
people of Nevis have enjoyed the orderly
transfer of political power from one political party to the next. Our people have engaged in free and fair
elections resulting in representatives elected by the free will of the
people. The Nevis Island Legislature
has passed volumes of laws in the exercise of its law making authority. Moreover, the person occupying the
President’s chair has always been vigilant and unrepentant in ensuring
that the voice of every Member of the Nevis Island Legislature is heard
and that decorum prevails at its every sitting.
This is indeed the hallmark
of a true democratic society in spirit and action.
Nevis Island Administration recognizes that the people of Nevis
wish to be fully informed of the financial impact that the independence
initiative will have on our island.
assessed the financial impact of independence, the Nevis Island
Administration is absolutely convinced that the independence of our
island is a financially viable undertaking. In view of this, the
Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration has directed the Ministry of
Finance to compile the necessary financial details and have them
independently validated. Such details will be incorporated in a
Financial Paper, which will be distributed shortly, so that the people
of Nevis will have the chance to examine for
themselves the financial viability of independence.
On Monday, June 23, 2003, the
Administration sought and received approval of the Nevis Island
Assembly to formally begin the process of moving Nevis
towards independence. So that the people
become fully knowledgeable of the constitutional requirements to
achieve our independence, Section 113 of
“The Saint Christopher and Nevis Constitution Order 1983” is reproduced verbatim,
113.- (1) The
Nevis Island Legislature may provide that the island of Nevis shall
cease to be federated with the island of Saint Christopher and
accordingly that this Constitution shall no longer have effect in the
island of Nevis.
(2) A bill
for the purposes of subsection (1) shall not be regarded as being
passed by the Assembly unless on its final reading the bill is
supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the elected
members of the Assembly and such a bill shall not be submitted to the
Governor-General for his assent unless-
a) there has been an interval of not less
than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the Assembly
and the beginning of the proceedings in the Assembly on the second
reading of the bill;
b) after it has been passed by the
Assembly, the bill has been approved on a referendum held in the island
of Nevis by not less than two-thirds of all the votes validly cast on
that referendum; and
c) full and detailed proposals for the
future constitution of the island of Nevis (whether as a separate state
or as part of or in association with some other country) have been laid
before the Assembly for at least six months before the holding of the
referendum and those proposals, with adequate explanations of their
significance, have been made available to the persons entitled to vote
on the referendum at least ninety days before the holding of the
person who, at the time when the referendum is held, would be entitled
to vote at elections of representatives held in the island of Nevis
shall be entitled to vote on a referendum held for the purposes of this
section in accordance with such procedures as may be prescribed by the
Nevis Island Legislature for the purpose of the referendum and no other
person shall be entitled so to vote.
(4) In any
referendum for the purposes of this section, the votes shall be given
by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person
conduct of any referendum for the purposes of this section shall be the
responsibility of the Supervisor of Elections and the Provisions of
subsections (4), (5) and (7) of section 34 shall apply in relation to
the exercise by the Supervisor of Elections or by any other officer of
his function with respect to a referendum as they apply in relation to
the exercise of his functions with respect to elections of
shall be such provision as may be made by the Nevis Island Legislature
to enable independent and impartial persons nominated by an
international authority to observe the conduct of a referendum for the
purposes of this section and to make reports on the conduct or results
of the referendum to the Governor-General, who shall cause any such
reports to be published, and for that purpose any such persons shall be
accorded such powers, privileges and immunities as may be prescribed by
or under any law enacted by Parliament or, subject thereto, by or under
any law enacted by the Nevis Island Legislature.
(7) A bill
for the purposes of subsection (1) shall not be submitted to the
Governor-General for his assent unless it is accompanied by a
certificate under the hand of the president of the Assembly that the
provisions of subsection (2) have been complied with and a certificate
under the hand of the Supervisor of Elections stating the results of
certificate of the president of the Assembly under this subsection
shall be conclusive that the provisions of subsection (2) have been
complied with and shall not be enquired into in any court of law.
successful referendum vote, the Nevis
Island Administration will through a Resolution of the Nevis Island
Assembly approve a date on which the island
of Nevis will become Independent. In
the interim, the Administration will, among other things,
finalize issues in relation
to the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Nevis
and St. Kitts; formally judge submissions
for our new flag, coat of arms, and national anthem; and, formalize our
applications for membership into selected regional and international
Nevis Island Administration is now ready to embark on another effort to
secure the independence of Nevis.
We have sought to achieve this result by having extensive dialogue with
all the political stakeholders who will be affected by a change in the
relationship. We have also
encouraged an amicable approach, by all the parties, in order that both
the people of St. Kitts and the people of Nevis
will have a smooth transition into two separate states.
Moreover, we have ensured,
more than anything else, that we are consulting with the people of Nevis.
Nevis Island Administration understands that many persons will harbour
some misgivings with respect to the future relationship between the two
islands, bearing in mind the close ties of family and friendship that
exists between us. We believe that
we can address these concerns by outlining below the vision that we
have for an independent Nevis.
vision is the direct result of countless hours of discussion by the
Members of the Administration, after canvassing the views of social
partners and the people of Nevis, to ensure
that the close ties between the people of the two islands will
continue, after independence, without interruption or inconvenience. Our vision will be the subject of
extensive negotiations with the political directorate in St. Kitts, as
we believe that they too will want to encourage the enduring bonds of
family and friendship.
vision that we propose for an independent Nevis
addresses what we consider are the most important matters that will
affect our transition into independence. The Administration, by no
means, considers the subjects set out in this paper as being an
exhaustive coverage of every single item that will affect an
independent Nevis. Our
intent is to put before the people our vision of those important areas
that will be directly affected by our move towards independence. In many instances, it will be noted that
some of the most important areas concern both the
people of St. Kitts and the people of Nevis.
Nevis Island Administration has tried throughout this paper to present,
in an abbreviated form, the reasons why we consider that the timing is
perfect to journey again down the road to our independence. The convergence of factors in our
favour, compel us to take the initiative and move the process forward
as expeditiously as possible. The
Administration is committed to work tirelessly in reaching the goal of
independence for our beloved island.
this occasion we have had the privilege of including all the
stakeholders, from every segment of the society, in the discussions up
to this stage of the process. Although
the process is in the beginning of the constitutional stage, we have
only reached thus far as a result of the encouragement, zeal and
commitment of the people of this island. As
we move to establish our identity amongst the community of nations, we
call on all the people of Nevis to join with us
to achieve what our parents and grandparents have toiled and fought so
hard for so many years to achieve: the political and economic independence of Nevis!