ABEC gives clarity on the nomination of candidates

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

St. John’s Antigua: Thursday 29th December 2022: The following information from theAntigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), seeks to clarify the Nominations of Mr.Kelvin Simon, United Progressive Party Candidate in the Constituency of St. Mary’s South, Mr. Rawdon Turner, Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Candidate for St. Peter, and Mr. Anthony Smith, Jr., the United Progressive Party Candidate in the Constituency of All Saints West.

The Commission wishes to advise that:

By the Election Rules, First Schedule, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2002, the requirements for a valid nomination are laid out in Rules 9 – 12, which essentially provide for:

1. Nomination on a separate paper, with full names, place of residence, description of thecandidate;

2. The nomination paper to be subscribed, in the presence of the returning officer, by aproposer and seconder, along with eight (8) other electors (with their electoral numbers)who reside in the constituency;

3. Each subscriber is only capable of subscribing to the nomination of one (1) candidate;

4. The candidate has to give written consent to nomination, by Form 4;

5. Payment of a deposit of $500.00 by the candidate.

Barring determination by the returning officer that a nomination paper is invalid, or proof of the death or withdrawal of a candidate, a candidate, by Rule 15 (1), is validly nominated, “…..where a nomination paper and the candidate’s consent thereto are delivered and a deposit is made in accordance with the rules….”

An objection can be made to the returning officer, by an elector, within the constituency, that a nomination of a candidate is invalid; this must be settled in a reasonable time, no later than one (1) hour, after the objection was made.

It must be noted that the law permits challenges to the validity of a nomination, by an elector in two (2) instances only, namely and as provided by Rule 15 (2):

(a)”:…..that the particulars of the candidate or the persons subscribing the paper are notas required by law; and

(b) that the paper is not subscribed as so required by law….”

The latitude given to a returning officer, as regards objections and/or challenges to thenomination of a candidate, relate to matters arising only from information provided onthe nomination paper – the particulars and the manner in which it was subscribed.

The law gives no scope or authority for the returning officer to entertain any otherreasons for an objection, except as stated above.

Additionally, any decision by a returning officer can only be questioned on an election petition.