“We have to up the ante and show Juno Samuel and others that we are serious about the elections, that they will not get away with any intention or action designed to steal the election, 2014.” This assertion was made by Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, Senator Paul Chet Greene. It comes in light of continued threats by the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) to remove the names of over 600 voters from the list of registered voters within the twin island state’s 17 constituencies.
Greene says that after speaking with a United Progressive Party (UPP) operative, and whom he alleges is very annoyed about the situation, he was informed that after a meeting last Friday, the position of ABEC Chairman Juno Samuel was to call in the 600 plus persons on Wednesday of this week and indicate to them individually that they are not properly registered.
Greene is also saying that his source, has indicated Samuel put to the affected individuals the gaps that exist and, further ask them to voluntarily give up their rights to vote. The apparent intent of Samuel according to Greene, is that “if the individuals refuse to come, or if they refuse to give up their right, he will still take them off” the list. So it appears that, do or don’t, they’re damned.
Greene is now on record stating that, “well let me tell you Juno Samuel, you have more than that coming your way.” Greene, therefore, stated unequivocally that no member of the Electoral Commission, or its perceived operatives, should be given the opportunity to in any way deceive the people through the said commission.
As such, he called on the ABLP and its supporters to take drastic pre-emptive action. “Let me call on the ABLP supporters; as of tonight, we start to camp outside of the ABEC office. Because we understand that every night over the weekend and before, vehicles are going in and out at all hours. We need to have persons there now on shift – national duty,” the ABLP chairman proposed.
In keeping with statements put forth by the ABLP’s lead attorney, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, Greene too asserted that the party must arm itself with as much information as possible, so as to give to the court of law, should the need arises.
With suspicion surrounding the commission, Greene was firm in his resolve that note must be taken of the happenings at the ABEC’s offices. He therefore proposed a radical intervention method to the would-be scouts. “Anytime you get suspicious, feel free to block the cars that go in and come out and call the police; it is part of your national duty. Call the police. They have an obligation to ensure that the national assets are protected.”
The ABLP has already indicated its intent to take legal action, should the commission via its chairman Juno Samuel, proceed with the elimination of hundreds of names from the voters list.
Only last week Samantha Marshall, in a letter to the ABEC chairman in references to his proposed actions, and stated: “Kindly be advised that should the Commission decide, on your vote or otherwise, in full disregard of the law to remove any name, we have been instructed to take prompt legal steps so as to prevent the Commission from acting unlawfully and to protect the interest of the registered voters who will be so affected.”