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The ABLP returns to power!

by Pointe Xpress
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ABLP narrowly retains the government with 9 seats

In a result that shocked many, including seasoned political observers, the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party only narrowly retained its grasp on government.

A number of shocking losses and victories punctuated the night which had the nation on edge well into the wee hours of Thursday morning.

For the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party, political leader Gaston Browne was successful in his bid to retain his St. John’s City West seat and the prime ministership of the country.

Joining Browne to form his new government will be E. P. Chet Greene, Maria Browne, Daryll Matthew, Steadroy Benjamin, Sir Molwyn Joseph and Sir Robin Yearwood, Melford Nicholas and Charles Fernandez.

Asot Michael upended all political pundits and pollsters who projected that it would have been impossible for him to retain his St. Peter’s seat as historically, Antiguans and Barbudans vote along party lines.

In this instance however, Michael has not only made history as the first independent candidate on Antigua to be victorious in general elections, but also as the first person to run against the Labour Party and win the seat which has been held by the ABLP since the 1950s.

He is also the first independent to win an election in the Caribbean region since the early 1970s who did not rely on the support of a mainstream political party.

Elsewhere, The Barbuda People’s Movement’s Trevor Walker convincingly defeated the ABLP’s Knacyntar Nedd in Barbuda.

The main opposition United Progressive Party, recorded some significant victories punctuated by equally significant losses.

Sherfield Bowen trounced Lennox Weston in St. Phillip’s South while Kelvin Simon defeated Samantha Marshall in St. Mary’s South.

In one of the biggest upsets of the night, radio host turned politician, Algernon “Serpent” Watts secured the most votes in the election, 2146, to defeat the ABLP incumbent in St. George, Dean Jonas.

St. George is the largest constituency in Antigua and Barbuda.

Jonas, with 2005 votes, received the third most votes this election behind independent Asot Michael who received 2137 votes.

Jamale Pringle retained his All Saints East and St. Luke’s seat, defeating Colin James’ third bid to take the seat for the ABLP.

First timer Anthony Smith took an early lead in All Saints West to unseat Dr. Michael Browne after two terms as MP.

Richard Lewis also reversed St. John’s Rural West from red to blue as he defeated Gail Christian who made her third try at winning that seat for the ABLP.

UPP leader Harold Lovell’s loss to Melford Nicholas represents his third loss in a general election and his eighth loss in ten elections in his political career.

There is widely held consensus that Lovell’s insistence on leading his party into this election may have cost the UPP the election.

Lovell has not enjoyed huge popularity nationally and even within his own party, he is a less popular leader than his predecessor Baldwin Spencer.

In fact, while he was successfully elected to the leadership of the UPP, his ascension signalled the decline of the party as a irreparable rift developed between himself and his challenger for the leadership at the time, Joanne Massiah, who eventually broke away and formed her own party, the Democratic National Alliance.

The UPP has not recovered since this split.

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