Antigua electoral commission ready
ST JOHN’S (CMC) – The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) today said it was “fully prepared” for tomorrow’s general election despite a court motion filed by a domestic observer group.
ABEC chairman Juno Samuel said that the High Court is expected to deliver a ruling late today in the motion filed by George Rick James of the Fair and Fair Election League, challenging the registration of voters.
“Essentially what the plaintiff said was that after the publication of the list of electors we were required to have continuous registration.
“Obviously with the challenges facing us, namely and election to prepare for, the distribution of 47 000 or more electors cards which were being done by the same persons who would be conducting the registration and at the same places where the cards were being distributed, it would not be possible for us to do that”.
Samuel said that even if ABEC had continuous registration “those persons who registered at that time would not be eligible to be on this list for election because they would have to go through the process of claims and objections and any other appeal that would emanate from that.
“So really the ruling has no bearing on the election now,” he told reporters.
Samuel said the motion was among several challenges facing the Commission as it prepared for the general election in which the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP), headed by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, is seeking a third consecutive term in office. The other main party in the contest is the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party led by Gaston Browne.
ABEC also dismissed rumours that there were people in possession of electoral cards that would allow them to vote despite their names not being on the official list.