The Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) has finally come in response to statements made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne about alleged voter padding.
In a press statement released on Friday (21 April), while the Commission did not forthrightly say that it was distancing itself from the prime minister’s comments, it did go into details to address the requirement for the voter transfer process.
ABEC says it wishes to dispel any allegations being hurled at it as it relates to the transfer process following statements made by Browne, the Member of Parliament for the St. John’s City West Constituency, on the “Browne and Browne” radio show last Saturday (April 15).
According to ABEC, it has already aired its concerns at its meeting on Wednesday (April 19, 2023) and believes that it is critical for persons to understand how the transfer process works and the overall integrity of the procedures carried out by its officers.
The Commission says that if a person has moved from one constituency to another and resides at that new address for six months and over, the law – The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2002, section (6)-dictates that the applicant should seek a transfer of the registration.
This application for transfer, ABEC says, may be done at the Registration Unit in the new constituency of residence or the former one, where the registration initially took place.
The Commission, in its press statement, outlines the process of transfer but did not condemn the prime minister for his public statement which brought into question whether or not procedures were followed.
ABEC, in ending its missive, says it “welcomes the interest displayed by the public in all processes involved in electoral matters and is committed to protecting and advancing the cause for democracy in Antigua and Barbuda.”