St John’s – Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Monday night announced January 18, 2023 as the date for fresh general elections in Antigua and Barbuda and urged supporters to ensure that his government is returned to power.
He said Nomination Day will be December 28.
Browne speaking at the launch of candidates for the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) said he had already asked the Governor General to issue the writs for the polls on Tuesday.
“Last Friday, I dispatched a letter to his Excellency, Sir Rodney Williams asking him to dissolve the Parliament. The Parliament had been duly dissolved.
“I have also asked our Governor General to issue the writs of elections tomorrow 20th December, 2022. Nomination Day will follow on December 28, 2022 and you can be assured that when the next general elections are held, there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in the UPP (United Progressive Party) and that day will be in January 18, 2023,” Browne told supporters.
General elections were last held here on March 21, 2018 with Browne’s ABLP winning 15 of the 17 seats. The main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) winning the other two seats.
The island had been on pre-election campaign mode ever since Prime Minister Browne told voters that the country is “months away” from the next general election, even as the main opposition UPP called on him to immediately announce an election date.
“We continue to count on you the people of Antigua and Barbuda. You are the wings behind our sails, pushing us into success and we will continue to respect you and to work unrelentingly for your development because that is the core of our being,” Browne told supporters on Monday night.
“We are here to serve…and we ask you for your continued support. We are not going to assume that we have it. We humbly ask for your continued support and I beg you, my country men and country women, not to become complacent and to allow for any retrogression.
“The next level of development requires continuity, in other words, you don’t want a new set of people to come in and destroy the progress that we have made. You can’t allow that,” he said.
During his address, Browne outlined what he said were the seminal successes of his administration over the eight and a half years it has been in office, including spending millions of dollars in improving the country’s infrastructure, promising a slew of new projects in the new year.
“When you need people with the competence, people with working capabilities to get things done. That is one of the things that we have that many do not have even within the region.
“I say to you that my administration is one of the best connected administrations in the entire Caribbean region and we make sure that we leverage those connections for the benefit of the people…and we take care of everybody. We have a special love for the poor and the vulnerable,” Browne told supporters. (CMC)