Lovell Proposes New Constituency To Include Diaspora

29

United Progressive Party Political Leader Harold Lovell is proposing new overseas constituencies for persons in the diaspora to participate in both national elections and the legislative life of the country.

According to Lovell, regarding only those who live in the four corners of the state as belongers is no longer a viable interpretation of “nation”.

He acknowledges that there is an active diaspora comprising thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans who make their contribution to the state annually but also believes a new relationship should be established.

“We should forge a new relationship with them; make them a part of the juridical process and constitutional fabric of the nation,” he says.

He is suggesting that, by amending the Constitution, a number of overseas constituencies can be added to the current 17 on island, and that persons vote where they live for representatives who are also resident abroad.

In a paper he prepared, Lovell says, “To achieve this will call for a new thought process and constitutional changes will be required. We will need to remove the clause in the Constitution that prevents persons with dual citizenship from being members of Parliament.

“This will significantly widen the pool of persons who may wish to serve as Parliamentarians and the nation will be better off for it,” he writes.

The UPP leader outlines that to bring about these changes, no referendum will be needed and the Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives voting in favour.

“In these new overseas constituencies, every citizen of Antigua and Barbuda living in North America or Europe would be entitled to be registered and to vote. To make this work we could utilize our embassies, high commissions and consular offices in Toronto, NewYork, Washington , Miami and London, using modern technology where necessary.

“… The elected representatives would be the authentic voices of the diaspora [and] the annual national budget would include a line item to allow Overseas MPs to attend sittings of Parliament,” Lovell concludes.

According to Lovell, he met with citizens in New York to share his proposal and says he is convinced that the diaspora wants to feel a part of, and have a say in, the running of the country.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP

29 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t understand why anyone who renounces his own birthplace and pledges his allegiance to another would want to sit in our parliament.

  2. It sounds like a great idea. If people like Choksi have the ability to buy an Antigua and Barbuda, why not give patriotic nationals the ability to have active dual citizenship that allows them to participate in all levels of society? It is something to consider. How can the Diaspora become more involved in nation building?

  3. This is nonsense. People who do not live here, do not pay taxes here should not determine what happens in Antigua and Barbuda and affects the lives of those who choose to live their lives and pay taxes here. You want a say in what happens in Antigua, then come home. If you choose to live and pay taxes overseas, then vote in your chosen country. You live there so you should have a say there and there only.

    • @Not Common,

      The Antiguan economy is saturated. The diaspora contributes by injecting money into a struggling economy (check the state of inbound remittances, which by the way is not given due note).

      There are those of us overseas who actively bank our money in Antigua, who financially support our families and projects in Antigua.

      Many of us are outside Antigua because employment opportunities are lacking, limited or non-existent in Antigua. I won’t even begin to speak about the politics of job seeking in Antigua.

      Antigua serves to benefit from the contributions of the diaspora. If handled the right way.

  4. Lovell is talking utter hogwash. If persons in the diaspora are interested in voting, let them do as the law requires: fulfil the residency requirement in a constituency and then register to vote. When an election comes, journey to the constituency like the rest of us and vote.

  5. Harold continues to put on an act. He’s making public statements while the UPP is HEMORRHAGING.

    Wearing a nice suit with a dutty raggedy boxers full a plenty hole underneath.

    Coming apart at the seams.

  6. HAROLD LOVELL now realizes that NO ONE in Antigua will vote for His UPP so He is now looking for outside help. This is TOTAL NONSENSE Harold . This is wishful thinking. Lamin Newton EXPOSED the internal part of the UPP . Antiguans have been saying that They do not want to see around POLITICS. Now We also know from Lamin Newton that Persons within the UPP would like You to get out of the UPP together with D.Gisel Isaac. Harold you really like punishment. You would never get your wish.

  7. HAROLD LOVELL HAS LOST MORE ELECTIONS THAN HE HAS WON!!!! He has LOST more than any other candidate in Antigua. Let that sink in.

  8. @ Hmmmmmm
    Harold Lovell , D.GISEL and JOAN UNDERWOOD should help JAMAL PRINGLE. None of these people would help Jamal Pringle because They did not expect Him to win. I heard Lovell will run the constituency in ALL SAINTS WEST against Michael Browne …..MORE LICKS FOR HAROLD.

    Harold …We are inviting you to come and run in St. George ……..We would like you to get lots of licks from Hon. Dean Jonas. Come to St. George.

  9. Oh lward Harry come on man. Just give up! Go enjoy retirment and yamn ya pension. When you go wake up and realize as long as you ah da leader the UPP will never be elected as the governament. Go coach Jamel cause God knows he need da help. Go look some fresh young blood to run the UPP and last of all go ride off into the sunset.

  10. Last ditch to continue as Leader…..real nonsense. A lot of the diaspora thinks that because they reside in a bigger country with sometimes more resources than “our bit of Paradise” they should determine that way forward. Some return to A & B for vacation and thinks their stay qualify them to the same benefits are those who have stayed behind and work to make the bit of Paradise the place they see and enjoy. Live the lives of constant outages of water and electricity, pay the fees, taxes and contributions as locals do.What would better serve the leader, party and country is for an amendment to the constitution to set aside a mandatory time for general election thereby taking the authority from the PM.

    • ” Some return to A & B for vacation and thinks their stay qualify them to the same benefits are those who have stayed behind….”
      So you bend down backwards for tourist and said this nasty thing about those who’s navel string are buried in here?

      • What “bend down backwards” are you referring to? Where is your logic? Tourists are not asking to vote and tourism is perhaps the major contributor to our economy.

  11. This bring back memories of the day when BWIA used to touch down the day before election with people coming home just to vote. Oh yes!! Their tickets was bought for them.

    Harold Lovell, Prime Minister of the New York constituency.
    Good Try Mr. Power hungry!!!

  12. Seems weird, the idea that simply because you are essentially paying back your parents, what they are owed, that gives you reason to vote. Has to be more than that. This is more so considering education here tends to be funded on the tax payers dole hence more A&B persons living abroad need to remember A&B tax payers contribution to their “success”. Fact is the readily available remittances stats for 2017 the # is 30.47 million (USD), 2016 24.43 million. Now try and remember our GDP is some 1.5 billion usd. Essentially we are talking some 2% of GDP in 2017 and 2.16% in 2018.. For Jamaica its 15% (2345.83 million) of their GDP (2018 figures). In Jamaica any major party seriously suggesting anything like this? Just like in ANU, residency (In A&B)has to be established

  13. This is a ridiculous idea! If Antiguans want to vote or hold public office in Antigua, then they should live in Antigua. Mr. Lovell, you have much more important issues to address: foreign criminals running rampant, crime, this half-dead economy, bad education, debt, bloated civil service et al.

    • Americans allow their citizens to vote from anywhere in the world. They vote by absentee ballot in the last constituency they lived, even if they haven’t lived there for 50 years. This is a life long thing for them.

      • They also pay income tax no matter where they live and voting in general only applies to federal (presidential) not state /local elections. In most US states in order to vote in state or local elections, residency is required (most at least 31 days). Please note in A&B we do not vote for a PM or president, hence tend to only have what could be labelled local election.

  14. PLAIN TALK January 10, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    @SILK PURSE,SOW’S EAR

    D.GISEL ISAAC should be helping Jamal Pringle because She is Jamal Pringle ADVISOR. She is paid $4000 monthly to be Advisor to the Opposition in Parliament . D.Gisel Isaac was hired by Jamal Pringle for the Position. Jamal overlooked People in His Constituency and give D.Gisel Isaac the Job. Are You telling me that He could not find Someone in His Constituency for this Position ? Jamal deserves what He is getting from D.Gisel Isaac and Harold Lovell . Shame on you Jamal Pringle.

    Reply

Comments are closed.