Former AG says Nibbs must resign Council seat

Former Attorney General Justin Simon QC

Former Attorney General Justin Simon QC

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Former Attorney General, Justin Simon QC, said a by-election should be held in Barbuda no later than July 18 in accordance with the Barbuda Local Government Act.

Simon said Arthur Nibbs’ seat as an elected member of the Barbuda Council was automatically vacated when he became the member of parliament for Barbuda on June 12.

The former AG’s statement is supportive of the view recently expressed by attorney Dr David Dorsett, who said Nibbs’ decision not to resign is of no significance due to the automatic end of his tenure.

Simon told OBSERVER media “…(Nibbs) became ex officio, by virtue of section 4(1) (a) of the Barbuda Local Government Act, a member of Council on his election to the House of Representative as the MP for the constituency of Barbuda. Additionally, section 6(2) (g) of the Barbuda Local Government Act provides that a person shall be disqualified from being elected as a member of the Council if he holds or is acting in any public office.”

He elaborated that as the Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Nibbs now holds “public office” as he is paid from the Consolidated Fund and serves the public as a government minister.

The result, he said, is that the council, which is to consist of 11 members, now has 10: the MP for Barbuda, a member of the Senate who is ordinarily resident in Barbuda and otherwise suitably qualified, and eight instead of nine elected members.

“The governor general must now fix a date for the holding of a by-election following upon a vacancy among the elected members of the Council, so that ‘such date shall not be more than five weeks after the vacancy arose’ – section 13(1) (c) of the Barbuda Local Government Act. General Elections results were published on June 13, 2014, and this means that the by-election should be held by July 18, 2014,” the former attorney general stated.

Earlier this week, Nibbs said there would be no need for a by-election because he had no intention of resigning.

He said he had consulted with members of his Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) and it was agreed he would stay until his term as an elected member to the Council expires on March 2015 and his tenure as chairman to the Council expires in January 2015.

Former Barbuda MP of the Barbuda People’s Movement Trevor Walker has criticized Nibbs for clutching all three positions.

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12 thoughts on “Former AG says Nibbs must resign Council seat

  1. crazy man you asked the question of how would Nibbs serve the council if he is also a minister: How did his predecessor Walker do it when he was both a minister and a member of the council? Anyway I can only hope that Nibbs has sought legal counsel on this matter. Speaking of improperly constituted bodies, where was the former AG when ABEC only had 6 of the legally mandated 7? When the chairman voted as an ordinary member and then voted again to break any tie? Justin never saw this practice as wrong?

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    • I do not know about the situation with walker. I don’t know what is required of council members in terms of time etc. do they meet once per month like members of the senate? I do not know. My only point is that the issue of whether he should resign should be guided by whether he can perform in all three posts. I don’t have an opinion because I don’t know what it takes to be a council member.

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  2. The Hon. PM Mr. Gaston Browne,

    An unnecessary distraction as you move to bring about a shared Vision with the People of Antigua & Barbuda becoming “an Economic Powerhouse In The Caribbean” through Implementing of the Rescue Plan: A Strategic Vision to Rebuild & Empower.

    Comrade Leader a little “come to jesus”, teachable moment and learning opportunity with Comrade Nibbs.

    Nuff Said! Just between friends.

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  3. Nibbs second name must be ‘power’. We all shall be guided by the laws of Anu and Bbq…Nibbs you aint exceptional! Be professional n stop performing arrogant attitudes.

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  4. For me this is not about the law. Even if it were legal, would it right for him to hold all three post at the same time? The most important consideration is whether he would be able to serve Barbudans as a council member, if he is busy running the Ministry of Agriculture. This is the most important thing

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  5. We went from a perfect demonstration of democracy with a peaceful, smooth election and change of government to this. Mr. Nibbs, please ensure democracy continues in this fair land and do what’s right.

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  6. if that is the law we as antiguan must uphold the law of the land,that is the problem with us today lawlessness,ungodly,breeds sin and sin bring down any nation,we must stand for truth ppl.god bless u all and god bless antigua & barbuda.we will rise again.

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  7. I agree with Justin Simon QC. It is very important that we follow the constitution of Antigua and Barbuda to avoid constitutional crisis. Arthur Nibbs as the new Minister of Agriculture and Lands should use is time wisely to focus on how we can implement 21st agriculture technology and move Antigua and Barbuda ahead of all the Caribbean islands. Antigua and Barbuda’s lands are our oil fields. We could be wealthy if the soil is managed productively. Please support the interested commercial farmers to observe and adopt agricultural technology in places like Malaysia, USA, Canada, Japan, all Europe and develop big markets for the abundance of items we have like coconut, mangoes, pineapples, sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, all green vegetables and fruits etc… Visit for ideas:
    http://animagro.blogspot.com/2010/07/agriculture-in-malaysia.html

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