PM Browne corrects himself and announces dissolution of Parliament; speculation on election dates is rife among public

Citizens and residents say they are pumped up and anxious for the date of the General Election to be announced.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne is expected to make that announcement this evening, Monday, December 19, when he launches his slate of candidates during a public concert.

On Friday evening, December 16, a communication from the Clerk to Parliament, to Members of the House, said the “Prime Minister [had] advised His Excellency the Governor General to prorogue Parliament” as of that date.

This sent many people into a frenzy, with predictions of January-election dates flying across social media.  

However, the Prime Minister had apparently confused his terms when he used the word “prorogue” – which indicates that the parliamentary session has come to an end.

Browne later corrected his mistake and said the bicameral legislature had, in fact, been dissolved – which is the correct term – paving the way for general elections in all 17 constituencies, including Barbuda.

This announcement created even more excitement, with weary residents saying the date should have been announced a long time ago.

The dissolution of Parliament means there are now no active members of the House of Representatives or the Upper House, the Senate.  However, in extraordinary circumstances, the Parliament can be reconvened.

Over a year ago, Browne had indicated that the General Election would be called before its constitutionally due date in March 2023.  In fact, even before that, he had boasted that he was so confident of a victor that he would allow Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) to name the date.

The UPP Leader has said the Party is ready and eager for the election to be called.

It presented its slate of Candidates in September 2020 – but made a change in August of this year in St. Mary’s South.  

The Party has been in full campaign mode since the start of 2022, executing a number of initiatives and public engagements, several of which climaxed last week.