Though Antigua and Barbuda’s elections were postponed from an originally planned date in March, the result was perhaps worth the wait, bring an end to Baldwin Spencer’s decade-long rule as prime minister.
On June 12, Antiguans and Barbudans instead turned to Gaston Browne, the leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), which won 14 out of 17 seats in the House of Representatives, leaving Spencer’s United Progressive Party (UPP) with just three seats.
Browne (pictured above) campaigned on turning around the country’s struggling economy, unemployment and high crime. At 47, he’ll become the country’s youngest prime minister. Almost immediately after taking office, Browne signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese investment firm for a $2 billion project to develop greater tourism infrastructure.
The ALP has long been the dominant party in the country’s political history, even before independence. Its founder, Vere Bird, served as chief minister, then premier, for all but five years between 1960 and 1981, then as Antigua and Barbuda’s first post-independence prime minister from 1981 to 1994. His son, Lester Bird, served as prime minister from 1994 to 2004, when Spencer led the first non-Labour government in nearly 30 years after rallying against corruption from the Bird/ALP era. Continue reading Antigua and Barbuda elects new government, PM