The leader of the Barbuda Peoples Movement Trevor Walker has confirmed that his party will be moving ahead with legal action over what he says was the padding of the voters list on Barbuda in favor of the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP).
“We have already started the process. We have also written to the Supervisor of Elections and the returning officer here. We have put them on notice. This is not something that will be taken lightly” Walker said on the radio yesterday.
Earlier this month, Walker insisted that when the voter’s list on Barbuda was reviewed, about 100 voters had been added over the past five years.
At the time he said he was very concerned saying that the additions caused a delay in the publication of the final register for electors for the recently held January 18th general, which saw a small margin win for the ABLP.
“Based on our forensic analysis of the list, they managed to get on I would say between 50 and 55 persons on the list and that trickled from September right down to the last week before the elections. In the last five days before the elections there were between 27 and 35 persons that were put on our list. I would say they were able to manage to get between 50 and 55 persons on the list and these were voters that would vote for the labor party,” Walker explained.
Walker said although concerns were raised about the matter, Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other associates of the ABLP were not hiding what they were doing. In fact he said they were gloating.
“Somebody sent me a clip of the Prime Minister on his radio program and one person called in and said he transferred his vote to Barbuda to support Knacyntar Nedd. But the Prime Minister said I don’t know about the Barbudans because it’s going to take a divine intervention to deal with the Barbudans when it comes to how they vote. So, notwithstanding that fact…people voted overwhelmingly for us’”, Walker added.
Walker contends also that situation opens a very dangerous door for future general elections
“Apart from the fact that some persons don’t live in the constituency, the last five days before the list was published, our issue was that the 27 to 30 persons got onto our list unfairly because their names were never published and we were never given an opportunity to claim objections and we thought that this was unfair. This opened the door that is very dangerous because it is something that can have a negative impact on future elections”, Walker said.
Meanwhile, Walker said he is “waiting to see” if there is a less combative relationship between the government and the Barbuda Council in the coming months.