Opposition to proposal for Barbudans to vote in Antigua

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A warning has been issued to the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission that it will face legal action if it goes ahead with a plan that would see constituents of Barbuda voting at a polling division on mainland Antigua.
Charlesworth Tabor, an attorney, wrote to Nathaniel “Paddy” James, the chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) advising him that the Commission is misinterpreting the law.
He noted, “Sir, please be advised that your interpretation of Section 35 of the Representation of the People Amendment Act, No. 17 of 2001 is incorrect and unlawful.
“Section 35 deals with matters that can be addressed in a constituency with respect to a polling district and polling places within a district in the said constituency. It does not address the issue of moving electors in one constituency to vote in another constituency, albeit they will be casting their vote for a representative of the House for the constituency from which they have been removed,” Tabor wrote.
He later told OBSERVER media that the best thing to do would be to hold elections in Barbuda.
“There is nothing preventing the commission now from having an election in Barbuda. It is not an electronic election where you need Internet access and you need electricity. It is a manual exercise,” he said.
It was by letter dated January 26, 2018, that the commission informed the prime minister, Gaston Browne, that the members had decided on January 24, 2018, that the poll for the constituency of Barbuda would be done in a constituency in Antigua based on the “prevailing circumstances resulting from the hurricane which ravaged the island of Barbuda.”
The disaster resulted in the evacuation of the island’s 1,600-plus inhabitants.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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