ABEC has received no report of visitors attempting to be registered, says Hughes

Ian Hughes, the human resource and training officer at the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), says there has been no report of any African attempting to register at any unit across the country.

Hughes’ comment was in response to claims that three Africans had attempted to register in the City South constituency – a rumour that went into circulation on Tuesday afternoon, January 3.

According to Hughes, the allegation might just be an anecdote, since people show up to get registered every day.

He reminds concerned residents that, in addition to Antiguan and Barbudan citizens,  there are other persons from various countries being registered – including Africans who have been resident in the country for the time prescribed by law.

Meanwhile, Hughes says that persons registering now will not make it onto the final register for elections, since the process of claims and objections would have not yet been done.

He says that each political party has a scrutineer working in its best interest; and any attempt at illegal registration, or other registration fraud, at this time is likely to be detected.

Therefore, the ABEC officer says, the chance of anyone who ought not to be on the register getting onto it is zero.

Since Independence Day, several flights have  arrived here from the African continent, sparking fears that the “visitors” are being brought in to vote in the January 18 elections.

This allegation has been denied by Foreign Affairs Minister Paul “Chet” Greene and by some of the Africans, who claim to be only on vacation.