The Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) said that, to date, it has not been given a date for the referendum to select the Caribbean Court of Justice over the Privy Council as the country’s final appellate court.
ABEC’s Public Relations Officer, Anne Harewood-George, said that the government is yet to provide a tentative date to ABEC so they can be prepared.
“This is not a decision for the commission, it is up to the government and also the National Coordinating Committee which was established for that purpose, and of course the supervisor of lections. Right now, we do not know when the referendum will be,” Harewood-George said.
Yesterday, Supervisor of Elections, Lorna Simon told OBSERVER media that the dialogue between the government and the opposition United Progressive Party is ongoing in order to drum up support for the referendum.
“Remember, the prime minister did say if he didn’t have the support of the opposition, then it didn’t make any sense because we would end up like Grenada,” she said.
Simon added that the ABEC would need adequate notice to prepare for the referendum if it is called this year.
“We would need ballots [and] the normal preparations we would do for general elections. So I assume that I would be given sufficient time to get things in place, and I sit on the National Coordinating Council, so I guess if a date is given soon then we would have voter education programme starting up in earnest,” Simon said.
If a date is set, voters would be required to select “Yes” or “No” for or against the Privy Council and the CCJ, in what would be Antigua & Barbuda’s first referendum.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)