2023 Antiguan general election

2023 Antiguan general election

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All 17 seats in the House of Representatives
9 seats needed for a majority
Turnout70.34 (Decrease 6.17pp)
  First party Second party Third party
  10 06 2022 Segunda Sessão Plenária da IX Cúpula das Américas (52137201805) (cropped).jpg Harold Lovell cropped.jpg Trevor Walker in 2010.jpg
Leader Gaston Browne Harold Lovell Trevor Walker
Party ABLP UPP BPM
Last election 59.24%, 15 seats 37.09%, 1 seat 1.43%, 1 seat
Seats won 9 6 1
Seat change Decrease 6 Increase 5 Steady
Popular vote 20,052 19,267 624
Percentage 47.06% 45.22% 1.46%
Swing Decrease 12.18pp Increase 8.13pp Increase 0.03pp

2023 Antiguan general election results.svg
Winning party by constituency

Prime Minister before election

Gaston Browne
ABLP

Subsequent Prime Minister

Gaston Browne
ABLP

General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 18 January 2023 to elect members of the House of Representatives. The Labour Party (ABLP) has held an absolute majority of 15 seats in the House of Representatives after the 2018 general election, with Gaston Browne remaining as prime minister. Browne initiated a constitutional referendum after the 2018 election, which was rejected by voters, and following the death of Elizabeth II in 2022, he announced his intention to organise a referendum for the transition of Antigua and Barbuda to a republican system. Besides ABLP, the United Progressive Party (UPP), Democratic National Alliance, Barbuda People's Movement (BPM), and three independent politicians filed candidacies for the 2023 general election.

During the election campaign, UPP proposed to raise the minimum wage and expressed support for small businesses, while ABLP pledged to construct more homes and open two polyclinics. ABLP retained its majority in the House of Representatives, although it won a reduced 9 seats, while UPP won 6 seats. Trevor Walker, the leader of the BPM, retained his seat in Barbuda, while Asot Michael, an independent politician and former member of ABLP, won his seat in the St. Peter constituency. Browne was sworn in for his third consecutive term as prime minister a day after the election.

Background[]

The previous general election was held 15 months early before the scheduled date due to the outgoing prime minister, Gaston Browne, wanting to obtain enough support for the implementation of several projects, such as land reform, in 2019.[1][2] Browne retained his office, while his Labour Party (ABLP) increased its absolute majority in the House of Representatives.[3] The United Progressive Party (UPP) suffered defeat, with its leader, Harold Lovell, losing his seat.[4]

Since then, Browne attempted to modify the constitution to make the Caribbean Court of Justice the final court of appeal in the country in place of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.[5] This was however rejected in a referendum in November 2018.[6] Following the death of Elizabeth II in September 2022, Browne announced his intention to organise a referendum within three years regarding the transition to a republican system.[7][8]

Electoral system[]

The 17 elected members of the House of Representatives were elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting; 16 of the seats were allocated for the island of Antigua and one for the island of Barbuda.[9] In December 2022, Browne announced that the election would be held on 18 January 2023.[10]

Political parties[]

The table below lists political parties represented in the House of Representatives after the 2018 general election.[11]

Name Ideology Political position Leader 2018 result
Votes (%) Seats
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Social democracy Centre-left Gaston Browne 59.24%
15 / 17
United Progressive Party Social democracy Centre-left Harold Lovell 37.09%
1 / 17
Barbuda People's Movement Barbudan nationalism[12] Centre-left Trevor Walker 1.43%
1 / 17

Pre-election composition[]

Antigua & Barbuda HoR 2018.svg
Party Seats
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party 15
United Progressive Party 1
Barbuda People's Movement 1
Source:[13]

Campaign[]

United Progressive Party holding a campaign rally at St. John's in November 2022
United Progressive Party campaign rally at St. John's

UPP presented its election manifesto on 9 January 2023.[14] Lovell proposed a EC$10 per hour minimum wage and a 10% wage and salary increase for public servants, as well as support for a stable water supply and small businesses.[14] ABLP announced its manifesto on 10 January, proposing to construct more than 1,000 new homes, rebuild the sea landing in Barbuda and open two polyclinics.[15] Both parties also expressed support "for a greener Barbuda".[16] Lovell also declined to debate with Browne.[17] The ABLP branch office for the St. John's City East constituency was set on fire on 16 January.[18]

Carty Anderson, an independent politician formerly associated with UPP, filed his candidacy due to "continued neglect" of the citizens of the St. John's Rural West constituency.[19] Another independent, Gail Pero-Weston, campaigned on "creating a better political landscape rather than representing a single constituency".[20]

Candidates[]

On 25 March 2022, the ABLP announced their official candidates.[21][22] New candidates from the Labour Party include Rawdon Turner replacing Asot Michael, Barbuda senator Knacyntar Nedd replacing Arthur Nibbs and senator Gail Christian replacing deputy speaker of the House Londell Benjamin.[21] The UPP nominated candidates in all constituencies except Barbuda.[22][23]

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) announced its candidates in April 2022.[22][24] DNA later announced that Avoy Knight and Tecla Thomas traded their constituencies, and that Stephen Richardson would be their candidate for the St. John's Rural West constituency.[25][26] Additionally, Moraine Knight was nominated for the St. John's City West constituency and Mario Thomas was nominated for the St. Phillip North constituency.[27][28] The Barbuda People's Movement (BPM), led by its representative Trevor Walker, announced that it would run in the Barbuda constituency.[29] Independent politicians Carty Anderson, Gail Pero-Weston, and Michael Asot filed to run in St. John's Rural West, St. John's Rural South, and St. Peter constituencies respectively.[29]

# Constituency ABLP UPP DNA BPM Independents
1
St. John's City West Gaston Browne Alister Thomas Moraine Knight
2
St. John's City East Melford Nicholas Harold Lovell Leon Smith
3
St. John's City South Steadroy Benjamin Franz Chalver deFreitas Roland Timothy
4
St. John's Rural West Gail Christian Lewis Richard Stephen Richardson Carty Anderson
5
St. John's Rural South Daryll Mathew Gladys Potter Tecla Thomas Gail Pero-Weston
6
St. John's Rural East Maria Browne Sean Bird Trevor Young
7
St. John's Rural North Charles Fernandez Pearl Quinn-Williams Louis Rivera
8
St. Mary's North Molwyn Joseph Jonathan Joseph Kisean Joseph
9
St. Mary's South Samantha Marshall Kelvin Simon Andrew Antonio
10
All Saints East and St. Luke Colin James Jamale Pringle Avoy Knight
11
All Saints West Michael Browne Anthony Smith Jr. Anthony Stuart
12
St. George Dean Jonas Algernon Watts Kelton Dalso
13
St. Peter Rawdon Turner Tevaughn Harriette Chaneil Imhoff Asot Michael
14
St. Phillip North Robin Yearwood Alex Brown Mario Thomas
15
St. Phillip South Lennox Weston Sherfield Bowen Joanne Massiah
16
St. Paul Chet Greene Cleon Athill Gameal Joyce
17
Barbuda Knacyntar Nedd Trevor Walker

Results[]

Voting stations were opened from 06:00 to 18:00, and there were 60,916 citizens in total that had the right to vote in the general election.[30][31] On 5 January 2023, it was announced that the Commonwealth Observer Group, headed by the former president of Seychelles, Danny Faure, would observe the election.[32] CARICOM, as well as the Organization of American States, also announced that it would observe over the election.[33][34] The Caribbean Development Research Services reported lower turnout in comparison with the previous general election.[35]

The Electoral Commission reported that ABLP won 9 seats in the election, while the UPP won 6 seats in total.[36][37] In Barbuda, BPM retained its seat while DNA did not win any, although Asot Michael, an independent politician, won his seat in the St. Peter constituency.[36] Lovell of UPP also failed to win his seat.[38]

2023 Antiguan general election seats.svg
PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party20,05247.069–6
United Progressive Party19,26745.226+5
Barbuda People's Movement6241.4610
Democratic National Alliance4661.0900
Independents2,2025.171+1
Total42,611100.001717
Valid votes42,61199.44
Invalid/blank votes2380.56
Total votes42,849100.00
Registered voters/turnout60,91670.34
Source: Electoral Commission[39]

By constituency[]

Constituency ABLP UPP DNA BPM Ind Total
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
All Saints East and St. Luke 1,047 36.00 1,799 61.86 52 1.7 2,908
All Saints West 1,461 41.20 2,022 57.02 44 1.2 3,546
Barbuda 456 42.22 624 57.77 1,080
St. George 2,005 47.46 2,146 50.80 54 1.27 4,224
St. John's City East 791 49.59 785 49.21 13 0.81 1,595
St. John's City South 889 63.18 495 35.18 11 0.78 1,407
St. John's City West 1,295 66.47 621 31.87 18 0.92 1,948
St. John's Rural East 1,770 53.73 1,460 44.32 48 1.45 3,294
St. John's Rural North 1,563 52.46 1,358 45.58 42 1.40 2,979
St. John's Rural South 1,424 56.04 1,074 42.26 11 0.43 19 0.74 2,541
St. John's Rural West 1,614 44.40 1,932 53.14 31 0.85 46 1.26 3,635
St. Mary's North 1,664 49.98 1,615 48.51 28 0.84 3,329
St. Mary's South 862 44.43 1,061 54.69 12 0.61 1,940
St. Paul 1,244 52.11 1,101 46.12 29 1.21 2,387
St. Peter 899 24.42 601 16.33 29 0.78 2,137 58.07 3,680
St. Phillip North 708 52.60 615 45.69 16 1.18 1,346
St. Phillip South 360 37.34 582 60.37 28 2.90 964
Total 20,052 47.13 19,207 45.15 460 1.08 624 1.47 2,202 5.18 42,849
Source: Electoral Commission[39]

Aftermath[]

Local news outlets reported that ABLP won 9 seats and that it retained its majority in the House of Representatives.[40][41] Browne addressed his supporters shortly after the election and was congratulated by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the minister of foreign affairs of Cuba.[42][43] Joanne Massiah, the leader of the DNA, conceded the election, while Lovell resigned as the leader of UPP.[44][45][46] Browne was inaugurated into his third consecutive term in office on 19 January 2023.[40][47]

References[]

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