UPP official says it will take maturity to lead the Barbuda council

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The education officer for the United Progressive Party (UPP) Joan Underwood said she hopes to see mature leadership from the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) working with the Barbuda People’s Movement to govern the affairs of Barbuda under the newly constituted Barbuda Council.
She said this is necessary, as she dismissed the ABLP’s claim that it retained control of the council after Monday’s elections because of a provision in Section 35 of the Barbuda Local Government Act which gives its chairman of the council or committee, a casting/second vote at any meeting.
Underwood said according to the same Act, before that provision can take effect, there must be a quorum of six members for a meeting to be convened and it is here the ABLP and BPM would have to depend on each other.
“Therefore, the meeting has to be duly convened with the representation of both the Labour Party and the BPM…the Labour Party needs to realise it is time for them to start doing the right thing for the country and in this case, for Barbuda, coming to the table with openness and willingness to collaborate and co-operate,” Underwood said.
She said the ABLP should be humbler, given the outcome of the polls.
“The majority of the elected officers on the Barbuda Council are from the BPM. The BPM right now has the moral standing as the people’s choice on Barbuda, that’s unequivocal,” she said, while stressing that the ABLP lost four of the six seats that were up for grabs.
Following Monday’s constitutionally due biennial council elections for five of the nine directly elected seats, and a by-election for a sixth seat, the ABLP now has four directly elected council seats. It also holds a seat with Arthur Nibbs as the sitting MP who is automatically an ex-officio member.
At the same time, the BPM has five directly elected seats, thus, according to Underwood, this gives the parties equal power in the decision-making process, starting with the choice of the second ex-officio member who is appointed as the Barbuda senator by the Governor General – on the advice of the Barbuda Council.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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