CARIBARENA ANTIGUA.-Antigua St. John’s – The date for general elections in Antigua and Barbuda is June 12.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer made the long announcement during a public rally in Potters before a massive crowd of supporters last night.
Spencer, who teased the audience by saying that the date would be given in due time, first gave the dates for nomination day and for the Writ for elections to be issued by governor general Dame Louise Lake-Tack.
However, after the date was given, supporters went into a frenzy with shouts, cheers and laughter.
Spencer said the Writ is to be issued today (Friday, May 16) paving the day for nomination day on May 21 and general elections thereafter.
He noted that taking into account the dates with a minimum of 21 days and a maximum of 28 days after nomination day for elections to be called, he called on supporters to guess the date.
The prime minister asked the crowd if they had any idea of the date and said he was leaving them to speculate.
Spencer then suggested June 17, 18 and 19 as the dates, but the massive crowd shouted “No” and then gave chants of “tell us, tell us, tell us.”
Spencer said the date for the election was moved from his back pocket to his side pocket after consultation with Almighty God in terms of what to do and when to do it.
“This thing was in my back pocket for quite a while,” said Spencer to loud laughter, cheers and clapping.
“In recent days I would have had to move it to the side pocket, and its right in the side pocket, right here. But its time for me to move it right here,” said the prime minister motioning to his front pocket area.
Spencer said the United Progressive Party (UPP) stands by its record and is deserving of a third term in office to continue to transform Antigua and Barbuda.
He said his government is moving to build a new society and create a charter for the future development of the country.
With this goal in mind, Spencer said this election is very critical.
“We can’t go back to them old vagabonds. We are moving forward. It is forward and upward with the United Progressive Party and your humble servant,” said Spencer.
He told supporters that it is necessary to recognise and appreciate that although victory is seemingly in sight, they cannot drop their guard.
Spencer admonished the mammoth gathering to continue to go out into the trenches and spread the good news of the UPP because it is not over until “it is over”.
The UPP head said it is time to put the opposition Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) into oblivion because the political institution is a curse upon the country.
“We have got to get rid of the curse once and for all,” Spencer said to loud cheers.
He continued, “We’ve got to galvanize, we got to really deal with this situation in an effective way. And I have no doubt, as I said before, that you are ready. You are ready to take them on and defeat them; and defeat them for yourself, for your community and for your country. That is the task.”
The announcement of the date was followed by the gospel rendition, “We will do it again” by a female supporter.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Spencer has hinted that some politicians putting themselves up as candidates for the June 12 general elections would have some difficulty getting their names onto the ballot.
He said all the candidates who are looking to be elected or reelected would have to organise and ensure that they become properly nominated.
“Tomorrow, May 16 (today), the Writ for the 2014 general election will be issued. So that’s the first step. And the second one is the whole question of nomination, because you know, you have to get your name on the ballot,” said Spencer.
The prime minister continued, “And let me warn you you know, I am looking forward to that day because there is one particular individual or a couple of them (who) may have problems getting their names on the ballot.”
Spencer said that he does not foresee any of his candidates encountering difficulty in this regard.
“…we (don’t) have any problem on this side at all. We gone clear. But a few of the others, I’m not quite sure.”