ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Antigua & Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) has to step back from insistence that voter re-registration will begin on Monday, September 23, 2013, to follow the dictates of the law.
The new commencement date for re-registration, according to Chairman of the Commission Juno Samuel, is September 30.
Despite getting the green light to proceed with re-registration from legal counsel and after a September 9 proclamation by Governor General Dame Louise Lake-Tack seemingly paved the way for the controversial exercise to begin, ABEC has to stand down, at least for a week.
Section 28 of The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2001 prescribes that the House of Representatives should move a motion to amend the regulations before re-registration can take place.
OBSERVER media is reliably informed that Parliament will meet on Tuesday, with a view to passing the necessary resolution.
The news of the delay comes a day after ABEC’s Public Relations Officer Anne Harewood George was resolute that re-registration would begin on Monday.
Samuel, meantime, said the commission will use the week to educate the public on the process involved in re-registration.
He also indicated that some time is needed to ready the newly installed electronic system.
The matter of voter re-registration has been contentious, if not divisive, with Leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) Gaston Browne promising to challenge the process in court.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)