The Electoral & Boundaries Commission

 

In 1985, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) was established, under Section 41A of the Constitution of Barbados. It comprises of a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and three (3) other members. The Chairman and two (2) other members are appointed by the Governor-General, acting on the recommendation of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition while the Deputy Chairman and one (1) other member are appointed by the Governor-General, acting on the recommendation of the Opposition after consultation with the Prime Minister.

The St. Thomas By-Election of May 23, 1985 was the first election conducted under the management and supervision of the Commission.

The Chairmen who have served the Electoral and Boundaries Commission are highlighted below:

Name Years of Service
Mr. Kenrick Jordan 1985 – 1990
Mr. Asquith Phillips 1990 – 1995
Mr. Milton Pierce 1995 – 2000
Mr. Philip Serrao 2000 – 2010
Mr. Owen L. Estwick 2010 – 2015
Mr. John Haynes 2015 – 2020
Mr. Leslie Haynes QC 2020 – Present

Responsibilities of the Commission – The Commission is responsible for among others:

1. The registration of voters and the conduct of elections in every constituency or any matter that is incidental to or consequential upon either.

2. Reviewing the number and boundaries of the constituencies into which Barbados is divided and making recommendations to the Prime Minister.

Staff of the Commission – Under Section 41B of the Constitution of Barbados, the Commission is allowed to employ a staff, adequate for the efficient discharge of its functions; whose salaries and allowances are charged and paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

In April 1987, thirteen (13) Registering Officers were recruited by the EBC and another fourteen (14) in 1988 to manage the twenty-seven (27) constituencies. The constituency of Christ Church South was created as result of the enactment of the EBC Order, 1990, and this required the recruitment of another Registering Officer, bringing the total to twenty-eight (28). In 2002, the constituencies of St. James Central and St. Philip West were created thereby increasing the number of constituencies to thirty (30). As a result, two (2) additional officers were appointed, bringing the number of Registering Officers employed by the EBC to thirty (30).