Antigua’s ruling party holds on to win third consecutive victory

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne led his ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) to a nail-biting victory in Wednesday’s general election, winning nine of the 17 seats for a third consecutive term in office, according to the preliminary results released early Thursday morning.

The party had won 15 of the 17 seats in the 2018 general election.

“You know I have always said to people, you must always give thanks, no matter how small the blessing and I see this decision as a blessing upon the people of Antigua and Barbuda,” Prime Minister Browne told supporters.

He said the results will give the ABLP government the opportunity to re-align “and also create the opportunity for fresh talent.

“Truth be told, whenever you try to remove incumbents it is very difficult. So when you remove incumbents then it creates the space you could bring in new talent to the organisation, to the government.

“So we do not see this as a bad thing per say, we see it as an opportunity at the same time. However, I want to thank those of my colleagues who would have served this country well over the last eight and a half years and of course we will continue to stand by them, so we will not leave them out in the cold,” Browne told supporters.

Prime Minister Browne, who became the first government leader in Antigua to win three consecutive general elections, headed the victorious ABLP candidates, as the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) won five additional seats compared to the solitary seat it had gained in the 2018 general election.

Browne polled 1,295 votes against 621 for Alister Thomas of the UPP and Jamel Knight of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) to win the St John’s City West seat.

“I want to thank you all very much …I say thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I feel humbled, again to be the first Prime Minister to get three consecutive terms and that is a significant amount of confidence and trust which I shall continue to honour,” Browne told supporters, adding that he would be sworn into office later on Thursday morning at 10.30 (local time) and the cabinet named on Friday.

Browne said he had signalled to his party that it needed fresh legs and new talent.

“Truth be told after two terms some ministers become lethargic. They do not have the will to fight,” he said, adding that some of “our colleagues did not have the energy to mobilise, you could have seen it at our events, it is something the leadership discussed…” he said.

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) failed to make any impact in the election with its leader, Joanne Massiah polling only 22 votes.

UPP leader Harold Lovell, failed to win the City East seat for a third consecutive time as Information Minister Melford Nicholas held on to win by six votes.

On the sister isle of Barbuda, the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), retained the seat with the incumbent, Trevor Walker, comfortably winning against Knacyntar Nedd of the ABLP, according to preliminary results released here on Tuesday.

Among the casualties of the election were Works Minister Lennox Weston, Samantha Marshall, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Michael Browne, Minister of the Creative Industries and Innovation and Dean Jonas, the Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy.

Jamaica based pollster, Don Anderson, who had conducted several opinion polls prior to the general election, said while the UPP “will do much better than they did in 2018,” it failed to drive home the issues during the campaign.

“The shift we are seeing is a vital one,” Anderson said on a radio programme, noting however that the shift was not sufficient to drive the UPP home “because they started too far behind”.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. What a dark day in Antigua/Barbuda, when the people chosen Barabas over Jesus, but only time will tell to see if Barabas decides to continues to kill and steal

  2. Dear ABLP mek dis b wan stren warning⚠⚠ aru min so close fu lose dis election ya❗ red min damn near dead but God and de ppl of Antigua say u go gi u one more chance fu get aru 💩 together aru better tek warning it nar go de normal this time around all 👀 pan aru

  3. As disappointed as I am with this result, this is no time for the ABLP to be triumphant when you look at the overall results with the ABLP collating 18,890 and the UPP getting 18,648, with a deficit of only 242 votes.

    Any which way you spin the rhetoric, Antigua is now a divided country.

    Congratulations to the ABLP, but Gaston Browne must be held to account by both set of supporters, if he doesn’t complete the infrastructure, the water system and pay pensioners on time, and workers their salary on time.

    WE MUST NOT ALLOW HIM TO REVERT BACK TO TYPE!

    Win or lose, Brixtonian NEVER hides …

    • There is an arrogance about behind you, that separates you from all other opinions, as if no one else can contribute to your overstanding. A fool isn’t driven to overstand. A fool hath no delight in overstanding but that his heart may discover itself..All your doomed and innuendos failed to convince the majority of sane Wadadlians. All ah you must be madd like hell. Always Truth always trumped over deceptions and lies. Congratulations to the ABLP government. By the way the same Leader you all vilified have made history.

  4. Where is BRIXTONIAN? Has he gone into hiding? He would be on here under every post but he has gone missing?? Hey Brixy way you dey?? Come out man you had all that mouth now you gone hide?? Ah way you??

    • See mi yah boss!

      Mi nah hide @ RED TILL ME DEAD (that’s not how I roll). Anyway, I hope that you guys hold Gaston Browne to account when he plays up again – and he certainly will. Guaranteed!

      Yes, many of us wanted a change in the political landscape, however, if the water shortages continues, and the infrastructure isn’t improved as well as the high cost of living continues; I for one don’t want to hear a pip-squeak from any of you ABLP supporters.

      JUST DEAL WITH IT, KEEP YOURSELVES QUIET AND PAY UP … 🤫

  5. @Chupz. Don’t tell lie pan God. God had nothing to do wid dis. Check who won and lost, in constituencies with majority Caribbean nationals as opposed to born and bred Antiguans.

    • I said what I said❗❗ God and Antigua ppl send 1 strong warning⚠⚠ to ABLP its either them pull up di socks or dem go❗❗ and nah tell me nuttin bout buy votes cause both side min dey ah do um❗❗

  6. A…begin to pressure Maria Bird-Browne, since, she’s now the weakest link in the ABLP chain. She’ll be under pressure from her husband as well and #Pressure_Buss_Pipe. Her seat could become up for grabs in about two(years), Asot’s on a #mission and he has the ammunition along with the forensic evidence(s) to keep Gaston, Cutie and Robin busy defending themselves with little to no time, to train Maria(The Deer in the Headlights).

    B…with Watts ability to get classified info, he can now utilize these documents with immunity on the Parliament floor.

    C…a vibrant and energized UPP youth squad going to Parliament with a #MANDATE from the People to address accountability in the Public Sector, this is a #win Gaston would rather not have.

    The biggest fear of a Champion especially in Sports is to face a #RED_HOT opponent in last place, just barely made the first round of the playoffs, but they’re #Hot and #streaking…

    This UPP Team has momentum! ☣️⛔️⚠️☢️DDANGER! DDDDDDANGEROUS!

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee_Picknee
    De ‘ole Dutty Peg Foot Bastard

    VC

  7. “WE MUST NOT ALLOW HIM TO REVERT BACK TO TYPE!”

    What do you mean, brother Brix? Revert to type? Did he change? What nonsense you are saying?

    As the wolf in sheep’s clothing masquerading as a “ward” of impartiality said on ABS, this has been Gaston Browne 2014, 2018 and still now in 2023.
    The UPP was true to type – as naïve as a young girl going into a lecherous man’s apartment and thinking all he wants is a kiss.

    Did they think that he was illegally sharing money left right and center, but prayers from a sugary gospel concert would stop his money juggernaut? The public could see the infractions and willed them to challenge these illegalities right away instead of waiting for God to deliver the victory on election day.

    Did the leader feel he was so covered by the oil put on his head that all the illegalities would miraculously disappear and the victory will be delivered?
    Fortunately, there are now fighters in the parliamentary make up who will not allow Gaston Browne to get away with nonsense because theyso wished or prayed on it.

    It is unfortunate that Franz DeFreitas did not get in. Here’s hoping they will put him in the Senate and allow him to continue to fight. Suggestions for the new Senate make up are DeFreitas, 2 of the 3 women who ran, leave Tabor there, Harriette, and windbag Alistor (he fought hard, reward him for taking on the beast). The party needs to reward them.

    Also one male and a female member of the Youth Group.

    With the new blood from the party in the Senate, one can only hope that all the hiding behind petticoats and nice sounding words would stop and more muscle flexing will start.
    Congratulations to the 6 UPP candidates who prevailed. We know your presence will be greatly felt by the ALP pillars of salt.

    It is unfortunate for Lovell to lose by 6. That is hard. He should show some guts and fight for his seat. He has plenty irregularities in the list and the transgressions of ABEC to make him fight.

    • For clarity my brother, what I meant by “reverting back to type”:

      Was that in the run-up to the General Election, Gaston Browne was giving incentives to the electorate with financial inducements; I.e, paying outstanding overdue wages, pensions, overtime as well as others promises that he couldn’t – or wouldn’t – keep PRIOR to the election.

      Let’s see how Gaston reacts with (now that the ABLP is back in office) so many outstanding issues still to be dealt with.

      WILL HIS MAGIC MONEY TREE STILL BEAR FRUIT NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER?

  8. Congratulations to ABLP. Not the results I was looking for but at the end of the day I am Antiguan to the bone and respect the democratic system.
    So, lets hope this “enrichment” anthem is laid aside and all this “enrichment” money can be used for the betterment of ordinary people, as it should be.

  9. For those who think money stealing and corruption was a continuous thing with the ABLP, just try to imagine the tight lipped closeness a government has that have 15 of the 17 seats that’s available in an election. Now that we have seen the results and the people speaking up for their country, we can also see how easy it would have been to hide the corruption with no one there to confront or even raise a voice against it. So yes, there were indeed stealing and many atrocious activities by the ABLP, it’s just common sense to think as such. Time to expose these atrocities now that we have a collective government.

  10. My congratulations to the ABLP candidates that won their seat. Especially to Melford Nicholas who won by the slimmest margin. But a win is a win and he took out the leader of the UPP. Now the PM has the heavier tasks to govern with a very slim majority. This will show how skillful he is. As it turns out the people did not vote for the macroeconomic issues. Because the country on the whole is doing very well economically. We have the highest economic growth in the region safe from Guyana. But people are upset with things like ‘bad’ roads in the villages. The government invested in more RO plants than any other government, but it did not translate to more water in people’s homes. APUA needs to be reshuffled. Too many complaints from the people were because of the non-performance of APUA despite the fact that they got all the resources to do the job. I wish my Prime Minister all the best for the next five years as he takes this country to the next level of economic development.

    • I totally agree that the added RO plants have not translated into more water. In my area we are now getting LESS water since the new plants have supposedly come on stream. Used to be daily with low pressure for several hours per day, now it’s twice a week for a few hours each time at midnight. Used to get in January in past years now suddenly there’s supposedly a high “surf” issue in January. I feel like they are just shifting water around to other communities and pretending that there’s an improvement in other places. They need to put all hands on deck and get the water sorted out ASAP. I don’t want to hear the excuses, just the details of which new pipes were laid down this week etc. Just like they put fibre across the whole country and built smoother roads, they need to systematically fix the water situation village by village. Would rather have water than better internet or smoother roads. Priorities… Thanks

  11. @Brixtonian. Glad to see you are still here. But will you now give Jack his Jacket. Or are you continuing your campaign for the next five years as from today? You know I have always said, we preach democracy, but we do not accept it when we lose. We remain rebellious and causing mischief. But when we win, we expect the other side to lay down and play death. That way the country will never ever move forward. As they feel either may way or the highway. We cannot afford to have the country in a state of chaos for the next five years. I do think in parliament we should have fierce opposition. That will keep the government sharp and on their toes. My biggest regret is that the people would have voted for an ex-murderer over a well-educated sharp financial wizard. Or voted for an alleged rapist over a well-educated educator. I cannot believe we now have to refer to these guys as ‘honorable’. I’m glad they were prevented from holding the governance of this country. I would like to see them debating in parliament. But then again. Pringle was a disaster when it came to debating, yet the people this time around voted him back in greater numbers. Politics is really strange. Not something I would go into ever.

    • Would prefer less sullied MP’s on all sides, but I am hoping that all MP’s will turn over a new leaf and focus on doing the people’s business. Hopefully, all new MP’s will gain experience and eventually the opposition can choose a more ideal leader or perhaps Mr. Pringle will improve even more over time as well. Mr. Brown did a good job in many areas, but hoping that he will focus just a bit more on making the country more livable for the average person not only the big wigs. Best wishes to Mr. Pringle and his team and also to Mr. Brown and his team. God bless Antigua.

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