Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Editorial: Voters save democracy in Antigua and Barbuda
Published on June 14, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

In extending our congratulations to the new prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, and his colleagues on their emphatic victory in Thursday’s general election, let’s not forget that, in spite of the eventual margin of victory, the result was always in doubt because of persistent allegations of widespread vote buying and other electoral manipulation by the now former government.

It is not, therefore, in our view, mere editorial hyperbole to say that congratulations are also due to the Antigua and Barbuda electorate in general for rising above such real or perceived impediments to the fair exercise of their right to vote and thus rescuing their own democracy.

Whatever the truth or otherwise to the several allegations of attempted election fraud, the question has to be asked whether the observation missions mounted by three organisations: the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Commonwealth and the Organisation of American States (OAS), are capable of making any real difference to this kind of situation in Antigua and Barbuda or any other country.

First, it was reported locally that the questionable activities more or less ceased as soon as the observers arrived in the country just a few days before the election itself and they were thereby denied the opportunity of seeing for themselves what may or may not have been taking place.

Second, the OAS issued a 1,400-word, largely pro-forma, “boilerplate” preliminary assessment within the space of a few hours of the results being announced, replete with predictable “recommendations”. Later on Friday, CARICOM issued a 400-word statement that was essentially devoid of any meaningful observations or recommendations – or indeed anything worth publishing.

Is there any real mechanism in place for monitoring the implementation of any recommendations that are made and/or sanctions in the absence of such implementation?

In other words, do these electoral observation missions have any real teeth or are they just for the purpose of paying lip service to the concept of free and fair elections?

Unfortunately, not one of the three organisations mentioned responded substantively to our requests for comment.

Finally, Mr Browne and the new government in Antigua and Barbuda have a largely clean slate from which to start, in that any baggage from previous administrations is minimal. We therefore encourage him and his colleagues to eschew the political favouritism, cronyism and outright corruption that seems to be endemic elsewhere in the region.

Antigua and Barbuda has an opportunity to become a role model for good, transparent and honest government in the Caribbean. We hope the new administration grasps it firmly.
 
Reads: 2233





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014


Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: