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Opposition Party Planning Protest to Force Election Date

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Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News

CMC – The main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) says it will begin a series of protests and pickets next week in a bid to force Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer to name a date for the general election.

Prime Minister Spencer has in the past indicated that the date would be announced “very shortly”. He had delayed naming the date for the poll while awaiting the ruling ot the Appeal Court on two matters filed by the ALP leader Gaston Browne.

The court handed down its ruling last month and Prime Minister Spencer said he would announce the date as soon as he was sure that the Electoral Commission was prepared to hold the polls.

But Brown, who had given Prime Minister Spencer a May 9 deadline to name the date for the election, said the leader of the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) has no excuse for not naming the date for the election.

He said it is the responsibility of the prime minister to set the date for the election, which is now constitutionally due no later than July 26.

The ALP leader said that historically, Antigua and Barbuda has had general elections within the five year parliamentary cycle which on this occasion ended on April 26.

The ALP accuses Prime Minister Spencer of disrespecting convention and tradition by seemingly pushing the election to the latter stages of the constitutional deadline.

In the last general election, the UPP won nine of the 17 seats, with the ALP winning seven. The other seat was won by the Barbuda People’s Movement.

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