Young Wehner says UPP still waiting for written response from ABEC chairman, detailing the process for replacing voter cards

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is still awaiting a response from the
chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), Arthur
Thomas, to a letter written to him about two weeks ago.
Jonathan Wehner, a member of the UPP Central Executive, says that, coming
out of the last meeting of the General Council, Political Leader Jamale Pringle
announced that a high-powered team of prominent attorneys – including two
King’s Counsels – had been put into place to assist the Party in legal battles
against the Browne Administration.
Wehner says the UPP has to cover all its bases and fight the Government on
every front possible, given how crafty the Administration can be.
Accordingly, the legal team is seeking a detailed written response about the
process that ABEC will employ in the voter-card replacement exercise, set for
July 2024.

Meanwhile, young Wehner disagrees with claims that there are no legal
grounds for the Commission to engage in a re-registration exercise.
Wehner, a law student, points out that the Representation of the People
(Amendment) Act authorizes ABEC to pass any Regulation related to
registration – without it having to be debated in parliament.

He reminds the public that re-registration has taken place twice – in 2003
under the Lester Bird Administration and again in 2013 under the Baldwin
Spencer Government. Therefore, a precedent has been set for the exercise.
Of serious concern to the Party – and its chief reason for favouring complete
re-registration – is that the voters list needs to be cleaned, especially since the
names of dead persons remain on it.
The Central Executive member also recalls the claims made by PM Browne
regarding the transfer of voters from his constituency to give his candidates
an unfair advantage.
According to Wehner, ABEC is disrespecting the more than 20,000 persons
who voted for the collective Opposition – a greater number than those who
supported the Labour Party.
If it were not for the country’s first-past-the-post system, and for former
Political Leader Harold Lovell losing by six votes, he declares that the UPP
would be in office today.

Jonathan Wehner, UPP Central Executive member, speaking on Observer

Wehner is also reminding residents that Browne, himself, had expressed
concern about the voters register, especially in St Peter, where MP Asot
Michael is the parliamentary representative.
He had called for an investigation, then, into the transfers to that constituency.