ST JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda– Residents of Antigua and Barbuda have been told they will go to the polls very soon.
In fact, Prime Minister Gaston Browne proclaimed that “elections will be in a matter of a few weeks”, during yesterday’s sitting of the Lower House of Parliament, following weeks of speculation that there would be an early election in the twin-island nation.
Elections in Antigua and Barbuda are not constitutionally due until June next year.
“This siting, unless there be any extenuating circumstances, shall be the last siting of the Lower House until the next general elections,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s announcement came during the tabling of the report from the Constituencies Boundaries Commission, which is normally seen as a sign that elections are close.
The report stated that should elections be called prior to the constitutionally due date, no changes should be made to the constituencies’ boundaries.
“The members of the Constituencies Boundaries Commission considered that any changes would be disruptive to the conduct of an early election,” it stated. Browne said the Commission “has been working diligently on its mandate”.
“The Commission made a good determination in anticipating the elections based on the information in the public domain that elections would more than likely be held early and decided to file the report, which was the sensible thing to do. I want to commend them on their foresight and for taking my articulation seriously,” the Prime Minister said.
“So too the electoral commission. I was made aware that they had to put all the mechanisms in place.” Browne illustrated how prepared the Electoral Commission was, having already acquired the necessary ballot papers, boxes and equipment needed for the electoral process.
“They all made the appropriate decisions to be ready; they obviously took my articulation seriously,” he said.