ST. JOHN’S – The Antigua Labour Party (ABLP) of Prime Minister Gaston Browne won on Thursday the general elections, held a day earlier, according to the local electoral commission (ABEC).
ABEC said former finance minister Harold Lovell, the leader of the main opposition United Progressive Party, was defeated in the elections.
The ABLP won 16 of the 17 seats in parliament while the remaining one seat was won by the candidate from the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), Trevor Walker.
50,000 people were eligible to vote in Wednesday’s elections to choose from between seven political parties and five independent candidates.
Voting began at 6 am on Wednesday in 168 polling stations and preliminary results were declared early Thursday.
Browne had called for snap elections in the country, which is a part of the Caribbean Community, a year ahead of time.
The ABLP had won the elections in June 2014, returning to power after having lost control of the parliament for two terms, following an almost three-decade rule.
Voters in Barbuda voted in Antigua for the first time after the High Court dismissed a petition by BPM candidate Trevor Walker, who had asked the electoral commission to allow residents of the island to vote in their territory despite the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in September.
The elections were monitored by observers from the Caribbean Community and Organization of American States, among other organizations.
In the last elections, ABPL had secured 14 seats while the UPP had won the other three.