Electoral Commission stepping up preparations ahead of January vote

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With the countdown to elections now underway, the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) has been scaling up its preparatory work, ahead of the January 18 vote.

 This is according to the body’s spokesperson, Elisa Graham.

Graham shared updates on the process on state media on Wednesday, following the PM’s announcement of an election date on Monday night.

“We are ready. We at ABEC are in the process of shifting to higher gear. The writ of elections, we are waiting on that. We were expecting it yesterday, however we do anticipate it today, give or take a few days.

“Of course, most of us would have heard when the Prime Minister announced that Nomination Day is on December 28, so we are basically anticipating that it will still be on the 28th which will be next week Wednesday, right after the holiday.

“So as time gets closer, we will definitely be outlining some of the things that will be taking place on Nomination Day but, just in terms of education purposes, Nomination Day is the official day when we know the candidates who definitely will be contesting the general elections,” Graham said.

She spoke at length on the importance of Nomination Day, which is when the nation will know for sure who will run for each constituency. Some persons who have been put forward as candidates could be forced to withdraw their candidacy if they fail to meet the established eligibility criteria.

“I like to tell people this: anything is possible. Even though as you know the parties launched their candidates, it is only on Nomination Day that we know officially who the candidates will be contesting the general elections.

“They have to meet the nomination requirements in order to be nominated. For the most part, we do realise that a lot of persons have a particular window when they come…but everybody must be there, and they must be announced,” Graham added.

Candidates will have between the hours of 8am and 6pm on December 28 to go through the process and get the endorsement.

 A deposit of $500 must be made and 10 persons must be on hand to nominate the candidates in order for them to officially be considered as a contender for next year’s general elections.

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