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From The Archives: It’s Polling Day

From The Archives

From The Archives: It’s Polling Day

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REGISTERED VOTERS in the parish of St Peter are today going to the polls for the second time since July to elect a representative in the House of Assembly.

An additional 132 registrations have made a total of 7 745 eligible to exercise their franchise on behalf of three candidates contesting the seat – Mr. Owen Arthur of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Mr Martin Cadogan of the St Peter Constituency Council (SPCC) and Mrs Sybil Leacock of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

The vote will either confirm the result of July 19 in favour of the DLP which the High Court over-ruled, or return a BLP win in the constituency monopolised for more than 40 years.

Mrs. Leacock won on her third attempt in her native constituency by a controversial one-vote margin at the July poll. But the High Court ruled that election null and void after adjudicating on a number of rejected ballots and certain irregularities complained of during the previous polling day.

Some 7 613 electors were registered for July, with turn-outs as high as 77.6 per cent in some areas.

Although 73 of 114 names objected to have been deleted from the electors’ roll, the number eligible to vote stands at 7 745.

Today’s return to the polls in St Peter is to choose an MP to replace retired House of Assembly Speaker, Mr Burton Hinds, who collapsed with a stroke in December 1982 and resigned from Parliament earlier this year. He had been the representative for St Peter since 1966.

It is historic in that although there have been five previous by-elections since independence in 1966, it is the first time since adult suffrage in 1951, that voters are returning to the polls on a ruling from the court.

Campaigners have made issues of a number of matters since the last by-election, but the one which has got the most attention has been the flood of three weeks ago, which disrupted normal life in St Peter, especially Speightstown, where several families lost their homes and personal possessions.

Voting begins at 6 a.m. Today and unless there are hitches, Barbadians should know by midnight who the new representative for St Pete will be.