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By Theresa Goodwin

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Recently departed electoral commissioner Paula CM Lee has spoken of the “invaluable experience” the position afforded her.

Lee completed her eight years and four months tenure with the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) on August 31.

The Antigua and Barbuda Evangelical Association and the Antigua Christian Council nominated Lee to the body in 2012 for a period of seven years. However, following legal amendments and a subsequent hiatus, Lee was reappointed in 2013. Given the new appointment date, the commissioner’s tenure was extended beyond the usual seven years.

“I have a dream to work at the United Nations in New York City. Joining the ABEC team further inspired me to pursue my goal,” Lee revealed.

“I was actively involved in general elections management and administrative processes, gaining new insight into the application of electoral laws and understanding the enormous power of the elector’s vote. The new learning curve has positioned me well for additional national duty.”

Electoral commissioners are required to travel to observe general elections and attend meetings.

Lee reported that, “on overseas missions to the Caribbean, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Malawi, Africa, I represented my country with enthusiasm. I considered my role as that of an ambassador. These experiences served as a precursor to my future career by offering me opportunities to develop my core competencies and expand my global network.”

Lee is currently an honorary member of the Association of Electoral Magistrates of the Americas.

“This group of leading women in politics is committed to strengthening global democracy through transparent political laws, free and fair elections and responsible governance,” she explained.

Lee expressed profound gratitude to the country’s Evangelical Association and Christian Council for the confidence they invested in her. She said the experience was invaluable and would assist her in achieving her personal and professional goals.

Lee has been replaced by Madeline Blackman, described as a practicing Roman Catholic, deeply rooted in the Afro-Caribbean soil and who shares in many of the dreams and hopes of Caribbean people.

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