Trevor Walker, the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) Candidate, said that his Party has not seen a voter’s list with the names of the persons who requested a transfer from Antigua to Barbuda.
On Tuesday, January 10, Walker reported that – in a Carnival-like atmosphere – dozens of Antiguan residents had flocked to the registration unit on the sister-island, attempting to get onto that constituency’s list for the January 18 General Election.
Walker asserts that no one should be allowed onto the list at this stage, but he understands that these persons had requested transfers to the Barbuda register – although he does not know how long ago.
He says the BPM’s issue with these transfers is rooted in the Representation of the People Act, which requires any person wishing to get onto any voter’s list to go through a process that includes claims and objections.
Walker says the more-than 40 people seeking transfers hail from the St. John’s City West constituency – where Antigua Labour Party candidate Gaston Browne is the incumbent – as well as St. Mary’s North and South.
The BPM Political Leader says those names must also be published in a timely manner, so that members of the public can scrutinize them and then file claims and objections, if necessary.
To his knowledge, the names of these persons have not been published. Therefore the BPM has not had an opportunity to contest them, Walker says – in spite of a representative of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) claiming otherwise.
He adds that there appears to be an attempt to pad the voters list in Barbuda in favour of the Antigua Labour Party candidate.
Walker says there is continuous registration in Barbuda, as in the case on Antigua; so he cannot understand why someone from the Electoral Commission had to travel to the sister-island to oversee the transfer process.
This move is suspect, in his opinion, he says.
Walker states that this many people should not be seeking to get onto the Barbuda list at this “eleventh hour” before the January 18 elections.
Meanwhile, the BPM Candidate says the law is specific about where the Elections Registers should be published; and if ABEC is using only its website as a medium for publication, this goes against the law.
In the meantime, the BPM is gearing up for a legal challenge to this situation, an Walker says that any plans to steal the elections will not be allowed.