ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Government Senator Dr Edmond Mansoor is questioning whether the numerous hiccups reported about the voter registration process, now in its second week, were designed to “disenfranchise” electors.
Speaking on the Snake Pit radio programme Wednesday night, Dr Mansoor became the first high profile member from the United Progressive Party (UPP) administration to openly criticise the registration exercise.
“I believe that this national exercise has tremendous importance and that it is inappropriate and in some respect contributes to the disenfranchising exercise when people have to show up to a centre and wait hours and hours,” he said.
The senator said the lack of public information about the requirements for registration made him suspicious. He added that the Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission’s (ABEC) public relations efforts have been “suboptimal.”
“The PR has been lacking in clarity,” he said.
“I haven’t seen enough information out there that tells you what documents to bring, where your registration centres are and what are the hours.”
Criticism of ABEC and the re-registration exercise has come mainly from the Opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), though that has been dismissed by UPP spokespersons as politicking.
Dr Mansoor said his debut as a guest on the Snake Pit was prompted by the lack of public discussion about what is transpiring.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)