Archive | Elections

Jumaane D. Williams

Caribbean American legislator condemns question on citizenship included in 2020 Census

NEW YORK, Mar 28, 2018, CMC –New York City Council member, Jumaane D. Williams,  has condemned the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

“I am a first generation American, the son of Grenadian immigrants. I represent a community of immigrants, in a city of immigrants, in a state and nation of immigrants. Each is immensely proud of their heritage, just as they are proud of their new home in the United States,” said Williams, who represents the largely Caribbean 45th Council District in Brooklyn, New York.

Jumaane D. Williams
Jumaane D. Williams (File Photo)

“Given the onslaught of unrelenting unwarranted, bigoted attacks on immigrants from our government in the last 14 months, it is egregiously clear that the Trump administration’s appalling move to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census is designed to serve one of two purposes,” said Williams, a candidate for Lt. Governor in New York State, the second highest position in the state.

“Either the Trump administration and its allies want to collect information on immigrants with the intent of carrying out heinous programs, or they hope to create a pervasive fear that will discourage immigrant populations from participating in the census, and so damaging democracy by denying fair representation in government for diverse communities like the one I represent,” Williams told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

He said no matter the intent, “this action continues what we know to be the Trump administration’s primary driving policy goal- to create an ‘other,’ a second class, and to exploit that division, separation and inherent bigotry.

“We have a moral obligation to stand with and support our immigrant communities against this nationalist, xenophobic, supremacist and hateful agenda that threatens the very ideals of being an American.”

Williams said the fears of this and other recent actions, and the context in which they were taken, “are rightfully alarming.

“The demonizing and discounting of the ‘other’ happens not suddenly but through incremental and steady changes to law and policy. The threat to our immigrant communities is real, imminent, and cannot be ignored.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also condemned the Trump administration’s latest move.

“We already strongly suspect that urban populations like Brooklyn have been chronically undercounted, and President Trump’s call for a citizenship question in the 2020 US Census will further undercut the accuracy of this critical count by discouraging the participation of immigrant Americans,” Adams said.

“This decennial process is hard enough without putting additional barriers in place. I thank (New York) Attorney General Schneiderman for bringing a lawsuit against this misguided policy on behalf of all New Yorkers.

Adams said In the months ahead, his administration will work in partnership with community-based groups throughout the borough to make certain that all residents are accurately reflected in the census.

“It’s time for Brooklyn to ensure we receive the representation and resources that we are entitled to and deserve.”

Schneiderman said he is heading a lawsuit by at least 12 US states in an attempt to prohibit the Trump administration from adding the citizenship question on the 2020 census.

New York and the other states say the initiative would patently violate the US Constitution.

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EU

High-level European Union delegation to visit Antigua and Barbuda

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar. 25, CMC –  A high-level delegation from the European Union (EU) is scheduled to visit Antigua and Barbuda this week as part of a visit to the region.

Headed by Director General for International Cooperation and Development Aid, Stefano Manservisi, the team also comprises Director for External Affairs for Latin America, Hugo Sobral as well as two representatives based at the EU Delegation for the Eastern Caribbean based in Barbados.

EUThis includes The EU’s ambassador to Barbados and the OECS, Daniela Tramacere, based in Bridgetown.

Shortly after arriving on Tuesday afternoon the group will pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gaston Browne, before traveling to Barbuda for a first hand assessment of the situation on the ground following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

The visit is likely to be the first for a foreign delegation since the Gaston Browne Administration was returned to office following the recent general elections.

In a statement the EU said the delegation will use the opportunity to strengthen its relationship with the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda.

Following the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Irma last September, the EU has made available 5 million (Euros) to finance home reconstruction on Barbuda. The project covers repair/construction of private homes using disaster resilient construction techniques and materials as well as a programme to educate residents of the island on more resilient construction techniques.

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Maria Browne takes oath of office

Antigua’s new 13-member cabinet sworn into office

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar. 22, CMC –  An expanded Gaston Browne cabinet has been sworn in following the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party’s landslide victory at Wednesday’s general election.

Maria Browne takes oath of office
Maria Browne takes oath of office

Among the new faces is Browne’s wife, Maria, who successfully contested the St John’s Rural East seat once held by her uncle – Sir Lester Bird.

The Prime Minister will retain the finance portfolio within the 13 member cabinet,  while his wife will serve as Minister for Housing, Lands, and Urban Renewal and as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour.

The representative from St Peter and former Tourism minister Asot Michael returns to the cabinet after being ousted following an arrest in the United Kingdom in relation to a bribery investigation.
Although he was later released without charge, Browne promptly relieved him of his ministerial duties.

Sir Robin Yearwood would retain the Public Utilities Civil Aviation Energy portfolio, Melford Nicholas will hold on to the Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Information Technology ministry, while Michael Browne will remain at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Molwyn Joseph will have responsibility for the newly-styled Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment, while
E.P. Chet Greene will relinquish the Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts in exchange for a new assignment at Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration.

Newcomer Daryll Matthew will assume Greene’s former post. Matthew comfortably won the St John’s Rural South seat after his first outing as an ABLP candidate.

Samantha Marshall is retained as Minister for Social Transformation Human Resource Development Youth and Gender Affairs and Charles “Max” Fernandez, who previously had responsibility for Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, now serves as Minister for Tourism, Economic Development.
Dean Jonas, who was just given his second term as the St George MP, now receives a cabinet appointment as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs.
Lennox Weston, a senator and minister of state in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance in the last administration, will retain that ministerial portfolio and Public Works has been added to his responsibilities.

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Jamale Pringle

UPP lone successful candidate appointed Opposition Leader

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 24, CMC – Veteran politician Trevor Walker said he was not approached for the position of Opposition Leader in the new Parliament after the lone successful candidate of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP), Jamale Pringle was sworn in on Friday.

Walker, who has contested several general elections, won the lone seat on Barbuda during Wednesday’s general election that Prime Minister Gaston Browne called more than a year ahead of the constitutional deadline.

Jamale Pringle
Jamale Pringle

Browne led his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) to a convincing 15-2 victory.

Walker, who returns to parliament four years after being defeated by the ABLP candidate, Arthur Nibbs, said that the appointment of Opposition Leader ‘was neither here nor there.

“It was not up to me or Mr. Pringle unless we got together and decided who gets the position,” he said, adding “had I been offered the position, I probably would not have taken it.

“It’s neither here nor there for me. The people of Barbuda sent me to Parliament to do a job and I am going to do it regardless of whether I am Opposition leader or not.

“I am not hell bent on it. I just pledge to do my very best in the Parliament, to work and represent the people of Barbuda. I want to focus on Barbuda and getting certain things done, their rebuilding efforts and sorting out the land situation,” he added.
Barbuda was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma when the category 5 storm roared through the Caribbean last September, resulting in voters on the sister isle having to cast their ballots in Antigua.

Walker had unsuccessfully challenged that decision by the Antigua and Barbuda electoral Commission (ABEC).

Pringle narrowly defeated the ABLP Colin James by 10 votes in the All Saints East and St Luke constituency – a UPP stronghold.

Pringle’s appointment came as UPP political leader Harold Lovell broke his silence on the party’s dismal performance at the polls. Lovell did not make a statement on election night, but in his statement on Friday,  issued through the party’s public relations officer, thanked everyone who played a part in the campaign and offered his congratulations to the winning party.

“To Mr. Gaston Browne and the ABLP, let me offer my congratulations. We live in a democracy, and the majority has spoken. The people have once again given you the mandate to take the country forward, and I wish you well, because in the end it is all the people who will benefit if things are done properly,” he stated.

In keeping with the UPP’s campaign theme, he told supporters there’s always hope and that the campaign did not end on election night.

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Browne skerrit

PM says electoral victories in Grenada and Antigua send strong messages

ROSEAU, Dominica, Mar 24, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Friday said that the “clear and strong mandates’ given to the incumbent governments in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda should serve them to implement policies geared towards “the re-fashioning and revitalisation” of their respective economies.

Browne skerrit
Prime Minister Gaston Browne (left) and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (right) with CARICOM Secretary general irwin La Rocque (File Photo)

Speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, Skerrit in extending congratulations to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, whose Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) won 15 of the 17 seats in Wednesday’s general election, said it showed that as in the case of Grenada, the electorate had “evaluated all options and determined it would be better not to tinker or tamper with a formula that is working.

“All may not be well with everyone and for everyone in Antigua, but voters obviously took the picture and broader picture into consideration and stick with the incumbent party,” Skerrit told radio listeners,

“I believe the message we can draw from both the Grenada and Antigua election outcomes is that stability at this time is crucial. If what you have is working for you then it is better…to stay with it.

“These large mandates have given each respective government the opportunity to make hard but needed decisions with respect to the re-fashioning and revitalisation of their respective economies,” Skerrit said, warning that ‘these economies in the English-speaking Caribbean are at a very crucial stage.

“We cannot wish natural disasters away nor can we pretend that there aren’t international forces acting against our very best interest. Therefore governments in the region need a mandate to act and I think both the Grenadian and now the Antigua and Barbuda governments have been given such a strong and clear mandate to bring about needed reforms”.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell led his New National party (NNP) to a complete washout of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Grenada winning all 15 seats for the second consecutive occasion on March 13 and the third time overall since 1999.

Skerrit said that he was looking forward to working with both governments “in the furtherance of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) missions and agenda.

“To the losing NDC in Grenada and the UPP (United Progressive Party) in Antigua and Barbuda, I commensurate with Mr. Nazim Burke and Mr. Harold Lovell, I wish their respective organisations the very best wishes in their efforts to re-organise and re-position themselves.”

Skerrit said that in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, where “hundreds” of Dominicans reside, the outcome of the election was important.

“It was important for us that these elections were conducted in atmosphere of free from fear, violence or intimidation. We wish the very best for Antigua, because when Antigua prospers, Dominican families prosper as well”

But as he has said in the past, Skerrit reiterated that opposition parties in the Caribbean were becoming very critical of existing government policies without having developed any meaningful alternatives.

“It speaks to the fact that electorates are really in many instances fed up with the negative rhetoric coming in from political quarters,” he said, including his own country as part of that malaise.

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Antigua electoral map

Antigua and Barbuda General Election Results – 21 March 2018 – ABLP returned with 15 seats of 17

Antigua Parliament (Inauguaral OECS parliament met here)

General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 21 March 2018.

Source: Caribbeanelections.com

Click here: Comprehensive report:

Electoral System

The 17 elected members of the House of Representatives  were elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post. There was no fixed election date in effect in Antigua and Barbuda at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

Background

On 24 February 2018 Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced that Antigua and Barbuda would be going to the polls on 21 March 2018 to elect a new government. The election takes place 15 months before it is constitutionally due in June 2019.

P M Gaston Browne (ABLP)

Harold Lovell (UPP)

Joanne Massiah (UPP)

According to Browne, the polls were called early to protect the many plans his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party has programed for this year and the next. “We have an opportunity at this point to consolidate the leadership of this country, to provide investors with predictability, to prove stability, to provide continuity, and that’s the main reason why we’re going to the polls early,” he said.

Brown advised the Governor-General to dissolve parliament on Monday, 26 February 2018. On Tuesday February 27th, the Writ of Elections was issued. Nomination Day was set for Monday, 5 March 2018.

 

A total of 51, 258 Antiguans and Barbudans are eligible to vote in the 2018 general election.

Political Parties & Candidates

As in previous elections, the main political parties contesting the election will be the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) and the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).

A total of 53 candidates contested the 21 March 2018 general election in Antigua and Barbuda. The ruling ABLP, led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne is the only party to present a full slate of 17 candidates. The main opposition, Harold Lovell-led  United Progressive Party (UPP) will contest 16, while its affiliate the Barbuda Peoples Movement (BPM) will contest one seat, Barbuda. The new Joanne Massiah-led Democratic National Alliance (DNA) registered 13 candidates, Go Green for Life (GGL) two, and Missing Link VOP (MLVOP), one. The Antigua Barbuda True Labour Party (ABTLP) led by Vere Bird III will field two candidates. Attorney-at-law Ralph Francis is the only independent candidate. | Learn more about 2018 candidates

Preliminary Results

The Antigua Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) led by Prime Minister Gaston Browne has won the 2018 general elections, gaining one more seat in the parliament and will retain the government in Antigua and Barbuda.  Preliminary results indicate that the ABLP has won 15 of the 17 seats in the House of Representatives.  The opposition United Progressive Party (UPP), led by former Finance Minister Harold Lovell, has won 1 seat. The Joanne Massiah led Democratic National Alliance (DNA) failed to win any seats in the 2018 election.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 76.3%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 17 single-member constituencies
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Votes 38,382
 
Invalid Votes 288
 
Total Votes Cast 39,120
 
Registered Voters 51,528
 
Voter Turnout 76.32%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House Mon, 26 Feb 2018
 
Nomination Day Mon, 5 Mar 2018
 
Polling Day Wed, 21 Mar 2018
 
First Meeting of Parliament  

Antigua electoral map

POLITICAL LEADERS

  Photo Gaston A. BROWNE Winner
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP)
 
  Photo Joanne M. MASSIAH
Democratic National Alliance (DNA)
 
  Photo Harold E.E. LOVELL
United Progressive Party (UPP)
 
ELECTORAL LEGISLATION View all Members of Parliament of Barbados
The Antigua and Barbuda Constitution (1981) Download
 
Representation of the People’s Act (1975, amended 2008) Download
 
Constituency Boundaries Commission Order (1984) Download

 

 

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What does the law say about clothing on election day?

What does the law say about clothing on election day?

The Daily Observer (Antigua)

Attorney at law, Warren Cassell says there’s no law restricting anyone from wearing any particular colour at the polling station when they go to vote.

He’s commenting after electors were turned away from the Golden Grove Primary polling station for the St. John’s Rural South constituency this morning.

More than one person was told they would not be allowed to vote unless they changed out of colours such as red and blue which are affiliated with the two main political parties.

Cassell says that was wrong.

He advises, “There is absolutely no legal basis to turn a voter away because they are wearing colours that are associated with a particular party. If it is an issue whereby they are wearing shirts that are issued by that party with the words vote for [a party], that’s a different situation.”

“When it comes to just colours, if it is you are wearin a uniform from scotia bank which is red, or Virgin Holidays, or Royal Bank which is blue, there’s absolutely no basis for turning them back,” he adds.

It should be noted that while people who were dressed in red or blue were turned away,  people dressed in green, orange or black, which are affiliated with several smaller political parties, were not turned away.

After some complaints and public discourse, people were no longer being turned away.

Cassell says there needs to be a different, more inclusive approach to voter education for the polling clerks and other staff of the electoral commission as well as residents.

And, he says this needs to be done throughout the year, even if an election is not pending.

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dna_manifesto_2018

Antiguans and Barbudans voting for a new government, voters reportedly turned back if dressed in any colour of a party

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 21, CMC – Voters in this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country are casting ballots Wednesday for a new government in a general election that Prime Minister Gaston Browne called more than a year ahead of the constitutional deadline.

While there are seven political parties and five independents vying for control of the 17-seat Parliament, political observers say the contest is a straight fight between the ruling Antigua and Barbuda labour Party (ABLP) and the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP).

ballPrime Minister Browne is asking the electorate to continue with the policies of his administration, while the UPP, which is headed by former finance minister Harold Lovell has accused the government of mismanagement.

In the last general election, the ABLP, which is contesting all the constituencies, won 14 seats, while the UPP, which is contesting 16 seats in the general election, won the remaining three seats.

More than 50,000 people are eligible to cast ballots in the election with the estimated 168 polling stations opening at 6.00 am (local time) and closing 12 hours later.

Voters from the sister isle of Barbuda will for the first time be casting their ballots on Antigua after the High Court dismissed as premature, an application by the lone candidate of the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), Trevor Walker, contesting the decision by the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC) to have the residents vote here following the destruction to Barbuda by Hurricane Irma last September.

In a statement on its Facebook page, ABEC urged all voters in the two islands to go out and “make your choice, cast your ballot and be safe”.

The polls are being monitored by observer teams from the CARICOM, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Commonwealth.

TMR: Information from sources in Antigua says that as voters approach polling station voters are being turned back in they are dressed in clothing the colour of any of the parties. We ask if this is the law and the answer that it is not. It is not immediately known if all the parties have colours which would be different. ALP (Antigua Labour Party) colour is red, UPP (United Progressive Party) colour is blue.

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Keith Lowenfield

CARICOM mounts Observation Mission for Antigua/Barbuda’s Elections

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     The Caribbean Community  (CARICOM) has mounted an Observation Mission for Antigua and Barbuda’s General Elections on 21 March 2018.

The eight-member Mission, headed by Mr Keith Lowenfield, Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections

Keith Lowenfield

Commission, and including experienced representatives from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, and support staff from the CARICOM Secretariat, began arriving in Antigua and Barbuda on 15 March.

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     The Caribbean Community  (CARICOM) has mounted an Observation Mission for Antigua and Barbuda’s General Elections on 21 March 2018.

The eight-member Mission, headed by Mr Keith Lowenfield, Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections

Keith Lowenfield

Commission, and including experienced representatives from The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, and support staff from the CARICOM Secretariat, began arriving in Antigua and Barbuda on 15 March.

Since its arrival, the Mission met with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, the Commissioner of Police, and the Leaders of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), and has paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Meetings have also been held with other key stakeholders including the Acting Executive Director of Gender Affairs to gather information and discuss issues which have emerged in the electoral process.

Over the remaining days, the Mission plans to meet other political parties and stakeholders and attend rallies to get a sense of the general atmosphere and the overall level of preparedness.

On election day, the Mission will monitor activities in most constituencies, including the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results. It will then issue a Preliminary Statement outlining its initial assessment of the electoral process and thereafter prepare a Final Report for submission to the CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Read full text of Arrival Statement  

 

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NNP

Prime Minister Mitchell leads NNP to historic victory in Grenada

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Mar 13, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell led his New National Party (NNP) to an historic clean sweep of all 15 seats in a general election here on Tuesday, making it the third time he has achieved the feat in electoral politics in Grenada.

The 71-year-old Mitchell, who led the NNP to a consecutive sweep following his 2013 victory, immediately called on the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be part of the social partners that will chart the way forward for the tri-island state.

NNP“It feels good, the people of my country has shown the level of confidence in the way I have governed, it is a humbling experience,” Mitchell said after the preliminary results showed that the party had swept all the seats in Parliament.

“Whatever achievement we have had I first have to give thanks to Almighty God and the people of this country,” Mitchell said, adding that the election was the “most stress free I have ever had in my 34 years in politics.

Mitchell said that unlike 2013 when he won the general election and had no idea as to the state of the local economy, this time around, “I don’t feel the pressure because I am in the seat and I know what the plans are.

“Therefore I feel very confident I will meet the aspirations of the people of this country,” he said, noting however that “to whom a lot is given, a lot is expected.”

Mitchell easily won the St. George North West seat which he has been representing for more than three decades, defeating the NDC’s Alli Anthony Brian Dowden by a 2546 to 406 margin.

Former NDC executive, Peter David, who was fired from the party in 2013, easily on the Town of St. George seat, polling 1616 votes as compared to 789 for Claudette Joseph of the NDC.

In the St. George South constituency, Health Minister Nickolas Tang Conway Steele polled the most votes in the election, receiving 3536 votes as against 2679 for former public servant and trade unionist, Raymond Roberts, of the NDC.

Mitchell said he is convinced that if his administration is able to bring Grenadians, including the estimated 20,000 people who voted against the NNP together, then the country would be better off.

He against dismissed the notion that the clean sweep would result in the government having a free hand in running the affairs of the country.

“You can’t ignore that 20,000 people voted against you…the task is to bring that element into the decision making process,” he said, reiterating his call for the NDC to join the social partners in “dealing with the problems of the country”.

He has already indicated he would be looking at the manifesto of the NDC adding “you could have the best ideas and you don’t have that team willing to reach out for different opinions, you are not going to be as successful as you should be

“The NDC will get a commitment from us to involve them. They refused before…but I hope with the present results more common sense will prevail,” Mitchell said adding that he had not yet received any congratulatory message from Burke.

Burke, who led the party into an election for the first time, failed to win the St. George North East constituency losing to the NNP’s Tobias Clement 2458 to 2319 votes.

Mitchell, who said that a national rally will be held on Wednesday to celebrate the victory, said if he had to provide any advice to the NDC it would be to change the leadership so as to provide leadership in the country.

Barbados-based political scientist and pollster, Peter Wickham, who had predicted an NNP victory, said that the NDC strategy “was flawed”.

He said the party would have been better off campaigning on the promise of a “strong opposition” rather than trying to tell the population it would win the election given the results of the 2103 poll.

“The mistake the NDC made is that they made people believe that they were winning,” Wickham said, adding that the results made it imperative for the “NDC to clean house”.

Another political commentator, Ambrose Phillip, said the NDC has to “do some soul searching” adding it had underestimated the electorate.

Mitchell has not given any indication as to the composition of his new Cabinet or when the members would be sworn in.

CMC/pr/ir/2018

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