Symister says date of general elections should be fixed, while Lovell notes that snap polls do not always favour governments

Attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister is making a call for the introduction of fixed-term elections in Antigua and Barbuda.

Symister, a United Progressive Party (UPP) spokesperson on electoral matters, was speaking at Thursday night’s panel discussion on “Voters’ Rights: Lesson from the Barbados Elections.”

He was making specific reference to the snap polls called by Prime Minister Mia Mottley 18 months before they are constitutionally due. 

Symister says this placed the opposition party at a disadvantage that could be deemed unfair, although not unconstitutional.

He also references the thousands of eligible voters who were prevented from casting their ballots because they are infected by the COVID-19 virus.

Symister is, therefore, sounding a call for Antigua and Barbuda elections to be held on a fixed date in order to keep the playing field level.

Meanwhile, Harold Lovell, the Party’s Political Leader and an attorney, himself, says he, too, favours fixed-date polls.  However, he points out that calling snap elections is not always beneficial to the sitting administration, and he cites the example of Trinidad and Tobago.