Gov’t want nationwide discussion about the electoral process

Editorial Staff

Jan 29, 2023

Information Minister Melford Nicholas

The government says it will take a critical look at recommendations by the Observer mission which monitored the January 18 general elections in Antigua and Barbuda

The OAS observer Mission in their recommendations talked about votes for sale, vandalism, and threats of violence during the election campaign

Information Minister Melford Nicholas said it is pointless to invite the Observer mission here and not consider their recommendations.

“No other person had been the subject of the vandalism than myself in the St John’s City East constituency. There was arson directed at my office, some of my billboards were destroyed and in one instance mine was set ablaze,” he said.

Nicholas said perhaps a societal-wide discussion needs to be held about the conduct and the deliberate spreading of falsities during the elections.

“I believe the media function is going to have to step up to the plate and where public lies are being sent through the media, the perpetrators must be called out. It is not going to be up to the ruling party to address, when it is a general election, it is the entire society and I believe there have to be discussions in a wider forum…” Nicholas said

It also recommended the introduction of a series of automated checks and verifications that provide “a more exhaustive quality control result system containing mathematical formulas that detect logical inconsistencies and trigger alarms for extreme or unusual results based on historical data.”

Some of the other OAS recommendations include a review of contingency plans and procedures to effectively address technological challenges in future elections and the conduct of an analysis of the system for publishing the results and strengthening the security and performance of the election results publication system. 

They also said that to ensure greater equity and transparency in the receipt and use of financial contributions during electoral processes, the mission recommended the establishment of “a more robust legislative and administrative system to regulate financial contributions to and expenditure by political parties within or outside of an election that would include limits on the number of contributions that can be made by individuals.”

It also recommended the establishment of a “continuous campaign accounting and reporting framework” under the electoral law, and that reports to be submitted by political parties to the ABEC include information on financial expenditures in addition to contributions. 


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Antigua and Barbuda