ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Political Analyst Arvel Grant is counting the latest development in the electoral boundaries case as a win for the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) and he is predicting that no boundary changes will come before the next election, if the matter has to go to court again.
Using a boxing analogy, Grant said the United Progressive Party (UPP) government expected changes to constituency boundaries to be a “one-two knockout punch.”
“Boundaries Commission does its work: one hook. Submit to parliament: final knock out,” he said.
“What the Labour Party has succeeded in doing is enter into a clinch. They have locked up the government and prevented them from landing that final knockout punch,” Grant said.
The political analyst was referencing the news Saturday that Attorney General Justin Simon QC had written to ABLP lawyer Samantha Marshall informing her that her party ought to withdraw its case against the Boundary Commission as the commission had revoked its report, the subject of the lawsuit.
The ABLP has long condemned the Boundaries Report, saying that the changes to the constituency boundaries it recommended were designed to give the UPP an advantage at the next general election.
The party took issue with the removal of the St Peter constituency, currently held by Asot Michael, and considered an ABLP stronghold. The St John’s Rural East, held by former Prime Minister Lester Bird, was also gravely affected.
Grant said rather than let the court get involved, the UPP administration has decided to back down and try, in the future, to land a “better punch.”
“If the Labour Party will be able to get this thing back in the courts, I don’t think there will be any boundaries changes in the next general elections,” Grant added.
He was speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues Sunday, when he noted that the UPP leadership must be “losing some sleep” over this latest development.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)