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St. Kitts and Nevis
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
In 2009, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas campaigned for reelection in advance of the January 2010 parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, the opposition denounced efforts to enforce a constitutional provision banning holders of dual citizenship from seeking elected office and criticized the sitting government’s attempts to redraw district boundaries just months before the election.
In 2009, Prime Minister Douglas increasingly focused on his campaign to win a new term in the parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2010. In response to opposition claims that the government was engaged in voter padding, or registration of voters outside of their legal districts, the chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States announced that political developments in St. Kitts and Nevis would be closely monitored.
A new initiative to enforce a constitutional provision barring dual citizens from holding elective office provoked controversy and forced several parliamentary candidates to publicly renounce their U.S. citizenship. A late push in November by the SKNLP to redraw district lines just before the election failed. Following economic contraction in 2008, the government had reportedly stabilized its finances in 2009, strengthening Douglas’s political position ahead of the 2010 elections.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is an electoral democracy. The 2004 elections were free and fair. The federal government consists of the prime minister, the cabinet, and the unicameral National Assembly. A governor-general represents Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as ceremonial head of state. Elected National Assembly members—eight from Saint Kitts and three from Nevis—serve five-year terms. Senators are appointed to the body, and their number may not exceed two-thirds of the elected members, with one chosen by the leader of the parliamentary opposition for every two chosen by the prime minister.