Post-poll Antiguan uncertainty

UNCERTAINTY hangs over the future of Antigua and Barbuda’s second-term government of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer last week with the filing of four election petitions Thursday (March 19) by the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) in the High Court.


The challenging of the declared results involve three of the nine seats won by the incumbent United Progressive Party (UPP), including that of the prime minister, plus that of a claimed “independent” candidate for the single Barbuda constituency, Trevor Walker, recognised as being pro-UPP.

The March 12 elections will be remembered for unprecedented chaotic arrangements for voting, including hours of delays in the opening of polling stations and unavailability of voter registration cards.

There was also the surprising crucial factor of open public differences over readiness arrangements between the Electoral Commission and its Supervisor of Elections Lorna Simon. The supervisor went public last week with her contention that at least another two weeks were required to have everything properly in place.

This as well as allegations by the opposition – vehemently denied by the government – of the stuffing of ballot boxes and discrimination in the distribution of voting cards are expected to be some of the matters highlighted in the coming court hearings of the election petitions.

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