Prime Minister will announce SMS by-election date on Saturday, and George’s resignation from Senate is confirmed

The date of the St. Mary’s South by-election is expected to be
announced on Saturday night, September 30, when the Antigua
Labour Party (ALP) holds a public rally in Urlings, a release from the
Administration says.

And to coincide with the announcement, Senator Dwayne George
has tendered his resignation from the Upper House, effective today,
Friday, September 29, to pursue election to the Lower House on the
ALP ticket.

Earlier this week, Leon Chaku Symister, the United Progressive
Party (UPP) spokesperson on legal matters, had predicted that the
date would be released by the end of this week, or early next week,
based on constitutional provisions.

These provisions include the Writ of Elections, which, after being
issued by the Governor General, mandates that the poll follow
between 21 and 28 days after. There are now fewer than 30 days of
the 120-day period in which the by-election must take place.

In a media release announcing the end of George’s short Senate
appointment, it was noted that the latest date by which the by-
election can be held is Thursday, October 26, 2023.

The release points out that, “historically, elections are not held in
Antigua and Barbuda on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, since these
are worship days for significant portions of the population.”
It had been widely expected that Prime Minister Browne would “call
the date” at the ALP’s candidate launch on September 17. However,
he declined to do so at that time.

Reacting to that during a UPP rally staged last week, Senator Shawn
Nicholas noted that delaying the announcement was pointless –
given that it must be held within a specified window – and that the
Party would be ready whenever Browne called it.
The St. Mary’s seat became vacant following the June 7 resignation
of MP Kelvin “Shugy” Simon, whose election to the House of
Representatives was being challenged by a proxy of the Labour