Constitution must be reformed to allow public servants to seek election, says Mussington, and voters must advance that agenda

Barbuda activist John Mussington is hoping to see a change in the electoral laws that prohibit public servants from pursuing elective office while in the employ of the Government.

As it now stands, any public servant who wishes to enter the political arena must resign from his current position.  If their bid for a seat in the Legislature fails, there is no automatic resumption of their jobs; nor are they able to claim for any years of service.

In order for all citizens to be afforded the opportunity to represent their country at the highest level, Mussington says the laws should be changed.

However, he notes, this cannot be done without reforming the Constitution – and he is hoping this will happen in the not-too-distant future.

Mussington refers to the case of Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, whose election to the Lower House is being challenged because he did not resign from the civil service before Nomination Day.

The Barbuda activist also points to the decades-old case brought by Elloy deFreitas, who challenged the Civil Service Regulations, resulting in the Privy Council ruling that they were unconstitutional.

While there appears to be little inclination by the political authorities to change things, Mussington says the onus is on the voters.  They must elect persons who are willing to effect the changes needed to push this country forward, he says.