The Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is holding firm to its position that Commonwealth citizens in Barbados are not eligible to vote in the May 24 general election unless they have permanent resident or immigrant status. And one of the lawyers representing four non-nationals embroiled in a legal battle with the EBC has warned the Commission that there will be hell to pay if it persists in “blatantly ignoring” the Court of Appeal ruling on the eligibility of qualified Commonwealth citizens to vote. Gregory Nicholls said yesterday that that the electoral management body was flirting with danger and would “suffer the consequences of their actions”.
The EBC said on Wednesday, through its attorney Bryan Barrow, that it would hold firm to its position. That was in response to a ruling on Monday by Justices of Appeal Kaye Goodridge, Andrew Burgess and Margaret Reifer that the EBC is prohibited from relying on its longstanding policy as the criteria for determining electors’ eligibility, and must instead only rely on Sections 7 and 11 of the Representation of the People Act to determine eligibility.
An upset Nicholls told the Barbados Today online newspaper that not only was the commission looking for trouble, it was also being “disingenuous” and was lying to the public about the court’s ruling.