Friday, April 19, 2024

First pandemic General Election

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It will be a General Election like never before today, as Barbadians determine their path of governance for the next five years.

Today’s event will be facilitated in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that continues to see an increasing number of infections, which has led to about 5 700 people isolated at home and in facilities up to Monday, and prohibited from casting their ballots.

Last night, the courts threw out a last-minute challenge to stop the poll, brought by candidate Philip Nathanial Catlyn, of the Barbados Sovereignty Party.

Justice Cicely Chase’s ruling paved the way for the election to take place, after Catlyn, who is running in St Thomas, sought a restraining order against the holding of the election until “the disenfranchisement of thousands of electors who are in quarantine due to the zoonotic COVID-19 viral pandemic is resolved beforehand”.

Meanwhile, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has revealed the last voter’s list review shows there are just over 266 000 people eligible to vote.

The day’s proceedings will see more than 3 700 specially trained EBC staff manning numerous polling stations, most of which have been increased in size to allow for better physical distancing. Assistant Supervisor of Elections, Roslyn Springer, said all systems were go for the poll, which will involve 108 candidates.

The major parties, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and Democratic Labour Party (DLP), are each fielding a full slate of 30 candidates, while the coalition Alliance Party for Progress (APP) will be seeking 20 seats. (BA)

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