ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Political Analyst Arvel Grant said while on a tight timeline, he is confident the necessary political processes will be completed in time for general elections, constitutionally due in 2014.
Grant, speaking on OBSERVER Radio’s Big Issues programme Sunday, was responding to reports this week that the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) filed an application in the courts to prevent the boundary change process from moving forward.
“The court will recognise this as a significant and urgent matter and the time allotted for the various steps in the process will be compressed as much as possible,” Grant said.
“One hopes that the court process will be compressed. That the relevant hearings will be discharged in a timely manner; that the decisions will be handed down in a timely manner.”
“We can effectively re-register everybody within two or three months, there is time to do that. I think we have to settle down and let the process unfold.”
Grant said the ALP was in part to blame for the last minute rush now taking place. He said the political process in the nation was put on hold for almost two years because the labour party exercised its right to challenge the 2009 general election results in court.
“That is one of the reasons why things are being done in a compressed manner,” he said.
“We lost 18 months to two years of meaningful implementation time as an economy and as a society and, indeed, as government.”
Last Wednesday the ALP filed an application in the court to prevent the Electoral Commission from using the suggestions obtained at consultations from being part of the final boundaries report.
The ALP also sought to prevent the Speaker of the House D Gisele Isaac from receiving the document and preventing Parliament from debating it.
The party also wanted the commission to declare the source of the data used to compile the report. Lastly, they applied for the Governor General to be barred from assenting to the final product.
Despite the fact that Isaac already had the report in her possession, Attorney General Justin Simon QC told the Court Thursday that the report would not be submitted to Parliament for debate, until the matter, filed by ALP was determined by the Court.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)