Court gives election victory to UPP and ALP
The opposition Antigua Labour Party has lost the re-registration case before the court of appeal but won its challenge to proposed boundaries changes.
The decisions were handed down in the Court of Appeal this morning.
The ruling in the registration case means the upcoming general elections would be conducted on the voters list emerging from the September 30 to November 4, 2013 reregistration exercise.
The ALP had challenged the process saying some commonwealth citizens who voted in the last election would be disenfranchised due to new residency requirements to register.
The party said the new rules ought not to have been retroactively applied.
The court however said those new rules established by an Act of Parliament were lawful.
And as such, those who do not fall within the new residency requirements, cannot not be registered.
Meanwhile, in the boundaries case, the Court of Appeal dismissed all but one of the opposition’s contentions. The point upheld said the consultations on boundary changes were inadequate.
In any case, the ALP succeeded in stopping boundary changes even before the court ruled. The prime minister made it clear last week that since parliament would have dissolved by the time the court spoke, no boundaries could have been realigned.
There had been wide speculation even before the national address that there wouldn’t have been enough time for changes anyway, as general election is due by July 2014.
The decisions were handed down by the Court of Appeal this morning during its sitting in Tortola.