Antigua: PM confident of success in November 6 referendum


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(CMC) – Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he remains Antigua and Barbudans will vote in support of replacing the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court.

Browne, speaking ahead of the release of a poll conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) on Monday, said that he is confident that voters will provide the necessary 67 per cent needed during the November 6 referendum to replace the Privy Council with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

“We are just about there and we now need a sufficient margin to make sure we do not fall short of the 67 per cent which is what we are working on now to make sure…

“We are literally at 67 per cent, the problem is we do not have a wide enough margin for comfort (and) that is what we are working on at this time,” Browne said.

Prime Minister Browne, who in the past has called for a non-partisan approach to the CCJ-Privy Council, also acknowledged that it may an uphill struggle to get voters to cast ballots on November 6.

“The challenge is to get them out on referendum day,” he said, hinting at using the machinery of the ruling Antigua Labour Party “to make sure we get that 67 per cent.

“ Now as I said the poll would have indicated that we are there at this point but what we do not have is a sufficiently large enough buffer to make sure that if there are any slip up…that we still end up with the 67 per cent.

“So we will be working over the next two weeks to try and increase that margin, so that in the event of any unforeseen circumstances or any slip…that we still end up with the 67 per cent,”
Browne said.

Both Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda will hold their vote on November 6 regarding the CCJ which was established in 2001 to replace the Privy Council and which also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement, CARICOM.


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