ABEC Signals Readiness Ahead on Historic Referendum

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Monday 5th November, 2018-In a matter of hours polls will open across the country as Antiguans and Barbudans participate in the country’s first referendum.

On the ballot a single question:

“Do you approve the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which is a Bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda to terminate Her Majesty in Council (also known as Privy Council) as the final court of appeal for Antigua and Barbuda and to replace it with the Caribbean Court of Justice (Also known as CCJ)?”

Voters will be asked to vote Yes or No.

This is government’s second attempt at the referendum. The first campaign was abandoned in 2017 after support was not at the level the current administration was expecting. But more than a year after, the campaign, led by a special committee changed its promotional strategy in its education of the Privy Council and the CCJ. Now the country will make an important decision on whether the Caribbean Court of Justice will be adopted as Antigua and Barbuda’s Apex Court or whether the final court of appeal will remain the London based Privy Council.

The referendum will be spearheaded by the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission and its Public Relations Officer, Elisa Graham says all is in place ahead of tomorrow’s historic vote.

Graham said ABEC is satisfied it has played its part in educating the populace and it is left up to those who will cast their ballots to make an informed decision.

The rules that apply in a general election will be the same for Tuesday’s referendum. Voters are advised that persons with clothing bearing political inscription and the like will not be permitted to enter polling stations. Mobile phones, smart watches and other devices with photography or recording capabilities will also be banned from the 171 polling stations across the country.

Meantime, all public schools will be closed on Tuesday, since many will be used as polling stations.