Injunction puts new constituency boundaries on hold

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Government’s plan to have the entire country reregistered for general elections is in serious jeopardy, after the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) filed an injunction to halt proposed changes to constituency boundaries.

At the time for personal explanations in yesterday’s session of the House of Representatives, MP for St Peter’s Asot Michael announced he and St John’s Rural East MP, Lester Bird, had that morning, jointly filed an injunction in the court restraining the Boundaries Commission from submitting their report.

The sanction forbids Speaker of the House D Gisele Isaac from “accepting or taking any further steps in relation to the report” or recommendations submitted by the chairman of the commission.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer was also served with an injunction, prohibiting him from taking any steps “in particular”, “the laying” of the Constituency Commission Report.

The Speaker said she was “taken by surprise”, when served at her home this morning with the injunction filed by the MPs.

“It took me by surprise, because I don’t have the report, so I find it interesting that they would want to stop me from doing anything with a report I don’t have,” Isaac said in an interview with OBSERVER media.

Michael is contending that his constituency, St Peter’s, would be totally eliminated if the proposed changes to the boundaries were to come to fruition.

He added the commission intended to subsume “most” of Robin Yearwood’s constituency into St Philip’s North.

What is St Peter’s, according to the document, would now be St Philip’s North.

“St Peter’s would be no more if these recommendations are made into law. The eliminating of St Peter’s, which is the ALP’s strongest seat, with the largest plurality of votes, is a clear example of gerrymandering,” Michael charged.

The matter makes it way to the court on March 18.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

 

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