Antiguans and Barbudans are turning out in large numbers today to vote in the country’s first referendum.
They are voting to decide whether the twin island state will retain the London-based Privy Council as its final court or accept the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in its final appellate jurisdiction.
The polls opened at 6 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.
Antigua’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, maintains that the CCJ is the way to go.
The government needs a 67 per cent vote in the referendum coupled with a two-thirds majority in the Parliament to move to the CCJ.
Grenadians are also voting this morning for the same reason.
The main opposition there, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), urged the population to vote “no”.
The executive of the NDC initially supported the exercise but the party’s interim political Leader, Joseph Andall, said the party has taken a new position because members are not satisfied with the process.
The CCJ was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court, but while many of the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries are signatories to the court’s Original jurisdiction, only Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Dominica are members of its Appellate jurisdiction.
The CCJ also functions as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement.