Elections League challenges composition of Antigua Cabinet

The Free and Fair Election League is going to court, Thursday, to force the Gaston Browne administration to reduce the number of parliamentarians who are appointed as members of his Cabinet.

Currently, all MPs sit in Cabinet with the exception of Dean Jonas, who is the Deputy Speaker of the House.

Secretary of the League, George Rick James argues that Browne has “exceeded his authority under Section 69 (3) of the Antigua & Barbuda Constitution Order 1981, by appointing eleven (11) elected members of the House to serve as Cabinet Ministers.”

However, there are actually 13 elected parliamentary members currently holding positions in Cabinet.

James claims that Browne has created an executive body that enjoys supremacy over the Legislative Branch of government.

The claimant also argues that the appointments contravene Section 70 of the Antigua & Barbuda Constitution Order 1981 which notes, “There shall be a Cabinet for Antigua and Barbuda which shall have the general direction and control of the Government and shall be collectively responsible therefore to Parliament.”

Attorney-at-law Ralph Francis, who is representing the league, said the matter before the court is whether a conflict of interest exists when most, if not all, elected members of Parliament are appointed as Cabinet ministers.

(More in Today’s Daily Observer)