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Former President Danny Faure to lead Commonwealth team to observe Antigua and Barbuda’s 2023 general elections   |06 January 2023

Former President Danny Faure will be leading a team of Commonwealth election observers to the twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda for the general elections scheduled for Wednesday January 18, 2023.

News about this appointment fell yesterday and it was Commonwealth secretary-general, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, who announced the composition of the Commonwealth observation in response to an invitation from the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

The group of five eminent persons from across the Commonwealth is expected to arrive in Saint John’s on January 14 and apart from former President Faure, the other members are Gideon Moi (a politician and former senator in Kenya), Clare Keizer (journalist and editor-in-chief at Searchlight, St Vincent and the Grenadines), Baroness Denise Kingsmill CBE (member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom), and Patrick Kryticous Nshindano (public policy and election expert and former chief election officer from Zambia). They will be supported by a staff team from the Commonwealth secretariat led by Prof Luis Franceschi, assistant secretary-general of the Commonwealth.

Voters will be choosing constituency representatives to the House of Representatives on election day.

In a statement, Commonwealth secretary-general, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said: “I thank Danny Faure for accepting my invitation to lead this group and each of the Commonwealth observers for agreeing to undertake this important assignment.

“The group, which is independent and impartial, will assess the overall conduct of the election and, at the end, make recommendations which will contribute towards strengthening the electoral process in Antigua and Barbuda.”

The group’s mandate is to observe the preparations for the election, the polling, counting, tabulation procedures and the overall electoral environment as well as consider any factors that could impinge upon the credibility of the process as a whole. 

Prior to deployment, the group will also have briefings with the country’s political party representatives, police officers and several stakeholders, including officials from the electoral commission, the media and social society groups representing women, youth and people with disabilities.

The group will submit its recommendations in a report to the Commonwealth secretary-general, who will forward it to the government of Antigua and Barbuda, the country’s electoral commission, the leadership of political parties taking part in the elections and all Commonwealth governments. The report will be made public shortly after this.

There will be at least 51 candidates on the ballots spread across 16 constituencies in Antigua and one in Barbuda. The candidates are from three political parties ‒ Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), United Progressive Party (UPP) and Democratic National Alliance (DNA).

General elections were last held here on March 21, 2018 with Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) winning 15 of the 17 seats and the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) winning the other two seats.


Compiled by Gerard Govinden


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