Antigua Observer:-Political Analyst Peter Wickham has advised regional governments against what he termed a common practice of spending millions on citizens outside the country as an incentive for them to return to vote in an election.
Wickham said ruling and opposition parties spend millions each election on charters and other means to get residents in the diaspora to participate in the electoral process, which is ill-advised.
“I think it is an expensive waste of money, and I also don’t like the fact that someone who is not a resident in the country is voting. But, at the same time, the people of the country have to decide how they want to approach it,” Wickham said.
He also pointed out that in countries like St Kitts and Nevis the law gives members of the diaspora the right to participate in an election.
The statement by the political analyst came ahead of today’s by-election to be held in Dominica.
Residents of that country have pleaded with their compatriots living in Antigua not to accept bribes as an incentive to participate in the process.
“Please tell Dominicans living in Antigua, please let the Dominican people decide their election. Dominicans living in Antigua should not accept treats to come down to vote in Dominica. A treat or gift in order to vote could be considered a bribe. We are fighting for the children. Accepting bribe is illegal,” a concerned Dominican wrote in an email to OBSERVER media.