Court delivers split rulings in Antigua-Barbuda election cases

St John’s, Antigua — In separate rulings handed down on Monday, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge by the opposition Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) to the process of re-registration of voters in Antigua and Barbuda but upheld an opposition challenge over the adequacy of consultation in relation to proposed boundary changes.

In a radio and television broadcast on Friday, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer had reiterated that he had been unwilling to consider dissolving parliament or fixing a date for elections until the Court of Appeal ruled on the two cases brought by the ABLP.

In any event, the issue was rendered moot on Saturday, when the Antigua and Barbuda parliament was automatically dissolved pursuant to the constitution, five years after the first sitting of the current legislature. General elections are now due no later than July 25 based upon the existing electoral boundaries.

Following the court’s rulings on Monday, Gaston Browne, leader of the ABLP, called on Spencer to set the date of the elections without further delay.

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