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As long as you fulfil the criteria, you can vote – Findlay

As long as you  fulfil the criteria, you can vote – Findlay

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Supervisor of Elections, Sylvia Findlay has said that Nigerian students residing here have the right to vote, as long as they are within the legal framework of St Vincent and the Grenadines to do so.

Findlay told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that as long as the students satisfy the Electoral Office{{more}} that they are bona fide citizens of the Commonwealth, they are free to cast their ballots in the upcoming, or any other General Elections.

Citing the Representation of the Peoples Act 1992 of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the supervisor of elections said that according to Section Five, sub-section 1b, persons eligible to vote must be “Commonwealth citizens, residing in St Vincent and the Grenadines for a period of not less than 12 months.

“The students, or any persons for that matter, must also live in the constituency that they would be voting in, for no less than six months,” Findlay added.

The supervisor of elections was responding to a SEARCHLIGHT question put to her in the wake of statements made by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace on Saturday, September 6, at a NDP rally at Redemption Sharpes, where he said that he enquired of Findlay about the African students’ right to vote.

“I haven’t heard the outcome yet, but… Nigeria is a Commonwealth country, and if you resided here for a year from a Commonwealth country, you can end up voting legally. I want to know what decision has been taken here, because in St Kitts right now, there is a court case going on about the same Nigerian students…” Eustace was quoted as saying.

He was making reference to a case where the then Opposition in St Kitts moved a legal motion to prevent students studying in St Kitts, particularly from Nigeria, from voting in the General Election, which was eventually held in February this year.

“There is no decision to be made. The law is there for everyone to see,” Findlay told SEARCHLIGHT.

“They can vote as long as they fulfill the criteria set out in the law and if they are registered to vote. They will be treated as any Commonwealth citizen… but if we are not satisfied, we will investigate.” (JJ)

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