Antigua and Barbuda CCJ Referendum set for next year

Antiga and Barbuda Opposition Leader, Baldwin Spencer
Antigua and Barbuda Opposition Leader, Baldwin Spencer

(Antigua Observer) The government has conceded to shift the proposed 2016 date for the referendum to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), to a date in early 2017, after rigorous debate in the Lower House of Parliament by the Leader of the Opposition, Baldwin Spencer.

Although the government had planned to have the referendum on October 27 2016, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has agreed that it will now be held “perhaps no later than March of 2017”.

The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

The change in the dates came about after Spencer argued that for the two -thirds majority to be achieved in the referendum, the public needs more time to be persuaded to shift from the Privy Council.

“I would like to move to the CCJ tomorrow. But you have to have the people with you, and if you’re setting mechanisms in place, consulting, and getting the people on board, you need time,” Spencer said. He warned that if the public’s perception was that the government was “pushing the question down the throat of the people” that those opposed to the CCJ would only “harden their positions”.

Read more at: Antigua Observer