ANGUILLA–Governor Tim Foy on February 13 issued a written response to the resignation letter received from Supervisor of Elections, Aurjul Wilson.
He wrote that although he did not intend to engage in public dialogue on the matter, he believed it was important to address the suggestions that his actions relating to the duration of the period for continuous registration for the current quarter, were at odds with the conduct of a free and fair election and crossed constitutional boundaries. “I have no doubt that my actions were fully consistent with the law and in the interest of democracy,” he said.
On February 11, Wilson handed in her resignation effective immediately, stating that the governor’s recent action to alter the previously established timelines for the quarterly list confirmed that she could no longer continue to serve as the Supervisor of Elections (see Thursday, February 13, edition of The Daily Herald). Foy’s reply states that his decision to promulgate the Elections Registration Regulations 2020 on February 10 and to direct that it be gazetted without delay was fully consistent with the law.
He said that until the regulations were gazetted, no regulations were in place, including those relating to the registration of voters. The publicised date February 8 for final registration had no legal basis, which he believed compromised the credibility of the electoral process and needed to be remedied immediately. He decided to set the publication date for the provisional voters list at the 49th day of the first quarter of the Election year 2020, thereby making Friday, February 14, the last day to register for the quarter. This date alleviated confusion and/or ambiguity regarding the final date for registration.
He said, “The Elections Act 2019 clearly states in exercising their functions the Supervisor of Elections must be impartial and independent of any influence, but subject to the governor’s oversight. That oversight – quite rightly – does not extend to the way the Supervisor conducts the polls and administers the Central Election Office. However, it does extend to the matter of regulations. Consequently, my actions and directions were proper and fully consistent with the law.”
On February 17, Rodney Rey will take the reins as permanent Supervisor of Elections and the currently acting Supervisor Maria Hughes will become the Deputy Supervisor.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/anguilla-governor-responds-to-elections-supervisor-resignation