As the debate about Antiguan residents voting in Barbuda continues, the Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) is speaking out against such voter padding.
Harold Lovell says this issue has been rearing its head in a number of constituencies across Antigua, as well. Accordingly, he says the Party is keeping a very close eye on this development, since persons will not be allowed to dilute the vote in favour of a particular candidate.
The law requires a person to be normally resident in a constituency for at least six months to be registered to vote there. In order to meet that requirement, persons are moving into neighbourhoods on six-month leases, Lovell says he has heard.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago, Prime Minister Gaston Browne claimed that Antiguans who are working on projects on Barbuda have been registering to vote. And he warned MP Trevor Walker that he is on his way out of office since these electors will be voting for the Antigua Labour Party.
Lovell says this is desperation on the part of the Prime Minister and his party, since the law is very clear on voter eligibility. Going over to work on Barbuda in the day and returning to Antigua in the evening does not qualify as residency, he says.
The UPP Political Leader says the Prime Minister should stop misleading the electorate on how the registration process works.
In the meantime, MP Walker says his party – the Barbuda People’s Movement – is keeping a close eye on the alleged padding. He says there has been no proof, so far, of what the Prime Minister is claiming.