Boundaries Commission Report Laid Before Parliament

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Thursday 22nd February, 2018 – Parliament was not prorogued when today’s session in the House of Representatives ended. Instead the Lower House of Parliament was adjourned sine die, meaning another session of the house can be convened at anytime.

However, that is unlikely as the prime minister again hinted that general elections will be in a matter of weeks.

According to law, before an election date can be announced, the Boundaries Commission Report must be laid in parliament. It should be done not less than two or more than five years after the date when the last such report was submitted.

The commission is responsible for reviewing the number of constituencies into which Antigua and Barbuda is divided and the boundaries thereof and shall submit a report to the Speaker stating whether changes if any are necessary. The Constitution outlines in part that if any draft order laid before the House is approved by resolution of the House, the Prime Minister shall submit it to the Governor-General who shall make an Order in terms of the draft; and that Order shall come into force upon the next dissolution of Parliament after it is made.

That report, filed on December, 2019, was approved today with no changes, as the committee, with the exception of Linley Winter agreed that if early elections were to be called, then no changes should be made to constituency boundaries. The commission agreed that changes would prove disruptive to the conduct of an early election.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne laying the report before the House questioned the exclusion of Commissioner Winter, who presented a separate report to the Speaker. Mr. Browne said he saw no reason why his pronouncements should have given rise to doubt.

General elections are constitutionally due in 2019.