Wednesday 28th February, 2018 – Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne has written to the Secretaries-General of three multilateral organizations inviting them to observe the March 21 General Elections.
Letters of invitation have been dispatched to the Secretaries-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Prime Minister Browne said he has invited the three Organizations to observe the general elections in the interest of full transparency and to show to the world that the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party is fully committed to upholding democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms”.
The Prime Minister added that “the observer missions will be fully facilitated in their work by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda”.
In the 2014 general election, the Organization of American States dispatched several observers to analyze the electoral process. Back then the international organization made several recommendations for the improvement of the process. Among them were for political parties and candidates to engage in the promotion of specific reforms to directly tackle the existing situation of the under-representation of women running for seats in the House of Representatives. In that regard, the Mission recommended that political parties work on the inclusion of affirmative action measures in their Constitutions to guarantee the full exercise of political rights for men and women and the promotion of gender equality in the electoral competition
it also recommended that the Electoral Commission must be empowered with authority and resources for effective oversight of political spending, and must ensure the enforcement of more effective sanctions in case of misconduct.
The observer team had also recommended that action be taken to speed up the electoral process, including the publishing of voter lists outside each polling station and enabling the verification process of at least one or two additional voters while one voter is casting his/her ballot.