REALNEWS – With the St. Mary’s South by-election expected by the first week of October 2023, the United Progressive Party (UPP) is seeking definitive word from the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) on how the countdown is being calculated.
In a letter dated August 15, the Party’s general-secretary, Senator Shawn Nicholas, asks the new supervisor of elections, Ian Hughes, when the constitutional 120-day period will end and how ABEC will “calculate the maximum of 14 days required … after the writ for an election in a constituency has been issued.”
The letter ends with the Party asking that Hughes treat the inquiries as a matter of urgency.
Prior to this communication, attorney Leon Chaku Symister had raised the matter publicly, several times, asking whether the Commission planned to exclude weekends and public holiday from the count.
However, to date, ABEC has offered no answer, forcing citizens to wonder about the secrecy shrouding the by-election proceedings.
In the meantime, Symister – the UPP spokesman on legal matters – tells REAL News he is concerned that no preparations for the poll appear to be underway.
He says he has been reliably informed that a number of commissioners and senior staff are scheduled to be out of State between mid-August and September – when, he adds, plans for the poll ought to be in high gear.
“At a time as crucial as this, when residents are looking for clarification and voter education from ABEC, half of its officers will not even be in office,” Symister complains.
“By-elections are not an everyday occurrence in Antigua and Barbuda.
The public – especially the voters in St. Mary’s South – need to be informed on how processes might run.
There will be first-time voters on the list; who is educating them?” he asks.
He notes that Prime Minister Gaston Browne – who will determine the by-election date – is currently out of the country, ostensibly on vacation.
“So I suppose everybody else is relaxing, too,” Symister concludes.
Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]