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ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
House of Representatives

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
Affiliation to the IPU
Affiliation date(s)
LEADERSHIP
President Sir Gerald Watt QC (M) 
Notes Elected on 25 June 2014.
Secretary General Ramona Small  (F) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 18 / 18
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 2 (11.11%)
Mode of designation directly elected 17
other 1
Notes Other: the Speaker
Term 5 years
Last renewal dates 12 June 2014
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address House of Representatives
Parliament Building
Queen Elizabeth Highway
ST. JOHN'S
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (1 268) 462 4822
Fax (1 268) 462 6724
E-mail parliament@ab.gov.ag
Website
http://www.ab.gov.ag/article_details.php?id=194&category=66

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 31 October 1975
Last amendment: Representation of the People (Amendment) Acts of 2001 and 2002.
Mode of designation directly elected 17
other 1
Constituencies 17 single-member constituencies.
Voting system Majority: Simple majority vote.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections held within 120 days of the vacancy.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- citizens of Antigua and Barbuda
- citizens of the Commonwealth who have legally resided in the country for at least three years immediately preceding the qualifying date and who have met the relevant residency requirements
- residence in the constituency for at least one month immediately preceding the qualifying date.
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - qualified voters
- age: 21 years
- citizens of Antigua and Barbuda
- residence in the country for a minimum of 12 months immediately preceding the elections
- ability to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical condition, to read the English language with sufficient proficiency
- ineligibility: allegiance to a foreign State, undischarged bankruptcy, insanity, death sentence or imprisonment for more than one year, electoral offences or certain crimes within the preceding 10 years
Incompatibilities - certain public offices
- electoral responsibilities
- minister of religion
Candidacy requirements - nomination by individuals or political parties

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 12 June 2014
Timing and scope of renewal The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) regained power after 10 years in opposition, taking 14 of the 17 directly elected seats in the House of Representatives. Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer's United Progressive Party (UPP) took the remaining three seats, down from nine. The ABLP (formerly named the Antigua Labour Party) had dominated the country's politics since independence from United Kingdom in 1981 until the elections in 2004, under the leadership of Mr. Vere Cornwall Bird and his son, Lester. The former's grandson-in-law, Mr. Gaston Browne, led the ABLP in the 2014 elections.

The country's economy contracted over the past five years. In 2010, the UPP government sought a Stand-By Arrangement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the country's debt. Unemployment rate increased from 5 to 25 per cent in 10 years. The ABLP promised to abolish personal income tax, create more jobs and revive more local and foreign investment. The UPP, which was seeking an unprecedented third five-year term, promised to develop the economy by constructing a new port and a modern performing arts centre and exploring space technology.

On 13 June, 47-year-old Mr. Browne (ABLP) was sworn in, thereby becoming the country's youngest ever Prime Minister.
Date of previous elections: 12 March 2009

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 26 April 2014

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry*
*In accordance with section 60(2) of the Constitution, the House of Representatives was automatically dissolved on 26 April 2014, five year after the first session of the outgoing parliament on 27 April 2009. Elections were due within three months from the dissolution of the House, i.e. by 25 July 2014.

Expected date of next elections: Before September 2019

Number of seats at stake: 17 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 41 (36 men, 5 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 12.2%

Number of parties contesting the election: 6

Number of parties winning seats: 2

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 25 June 2014

Name of the new Speaker: Sir Gerald Watt QC (appointed member)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 112 June 2014
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
47'720
43'085 (90.29%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP)
United Progressive Party (UPP)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) 14
United Progressive Party (UPP) 3
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
16

2

11.11%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
The House of Representatives, elected in June 2014, comprises 18 members in all: 17 directly-elected members and one appointed member, the Speaker. Unlike the previous legislature, the Attorney General is now an elected member, thus decreasing the total number of members from 19 to 18.

Sources: Parliament (26.06.2014)
http://www.antiguaelections.com/

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Senate
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the House of Representatives
Term - duration: 5 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: death, loss of citizenship, appointment as Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, loss of parliamentary mandate
Appointment - elected by all the Members of the House
- election is held after a general election or when a vacancy occurs
- after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member of the House (except a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary) or any person not Member of the House but qualified to be elected as its Speaker may be a candidate
- candidatures have to be submitted at the first meeting of the newly elected House

Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate
- a simple majority?? of the votes cast is required
- if no candidate obtains the required majority, several rounds are held and no new candidates are admitted
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the House during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks seventh in the hierarchy of State
- the President of the Senate has precedence over the Speaker of the House of Representatives
- the President of the Senate presides over joint sittings of both Houses
- represents the House with the public authorities
- represents the House in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board
Material facilities - salary of $ 5,000 EC??
- travel allowance of $ 531
- entertainment?? allowance of $ 400
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - The Government organizes debates and the speaking time is set by the Standing Orders
Chairing of public sittings - may suspend sittings for short periods
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the House
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- can call for a vote
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
Special powers - is consulted for the appointment of the Clerk
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the House
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting if elected to the House by a constituency

This page was last updated on 17 July 2014
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