Date for Barbuda by-election revealed

By Elesha George

The Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) are busy canvassing for nominees to participate in the upcoming December 30th by-election.

One seat on the Barbuda Council became available after the death of councilman Freeston Thomas, who was one of four BPM members who claimed victory in the March 27th biennial Council elections this year.

Although the writ of elections has not yet been issued by the Governor General, Human Resource and Training Officer at the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), Ian Hughes explained that based on the Barbuda Local Government Act, December 16th will likely be Nomination Day, followed by voting day on December 30th.

The Act indicates that elections must take place no more than five weeks after the seat becomes vacant.

In the absence of a writ, it is too soon to say who will be the returning officer overseeing the by-election on Barbuda but Hughes informed OBSERVER media that the writ is time sensitive and should be issued no later than next week Friday.

There must be at least 10 days, excluding holidays and Sundays, between nomination day and voting day as he said notices of election must be issued on Barbuda and nominees have time to prepare.

Thomas’ tenure as councilman would have ended in the year 2023 and, according to the training officer, the person who wins his seat will serve on the Council until March 2023.