While the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has communicated in part with political parties, Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley is still calling for more clarity on critical issues.
While revealing that the EBC met with political parties last Wednesday, Atherley said it was only to discuss regulations related to the November 11 by-election, such as polling stations, Nomination Day, paying of deposits and change of residence forms.
“They had a meeting with political parties to discuss some of the logistics for the by-election. I don’t think they made any public statement but they met with political parties to discuss regulations,” Atherley, the leader of the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP) told Barbados TODAY.
However, he said the EBC had not addressed important concerns he raised last week including those relating to the EBC’s state of readiness for the upcoming by-election as well as a general election, which is constitutionally due in 2023; the fact that two Commissions would oversee the by-election and an update on the new process of obtaining national identification cards.
“I really would have wanted them to make a broader statement about the state of preparedness for election bearing in mind a number of things.
“There is supposed to be a new national identification card in advance of the next general election. There’s supposed to be an institution created called the National Identification Authority and I also think the question of re-registration of voters in Barbados is also critical and they haven’t spoken to those matters,” Atherley said.
He said he was especially disappointed that the EBC had not commented on the fact that two different commissions would be overseeing the election, the first time he said it would happen in Barbados’ history.
Last week, the Opposition Leader raised fears that with the current EBC due to be replaced at the end of this month, the incoming commission would not have enough time to prepare for the by-election.
He said Government needed to be transparent.
“You may not have realized it but the life of this current EBC is coming to an end on the first or second day of November. The election is scheduled in Barbados for St George North on November 11; that would mean that a new EBC would have to be in place after this one demits office and would have just a week to oversee the process of a by-election which was suddenly called and also start to prepare for any general election subsequently called,” Atherley said at the time.