Sunday, February 25, 2018

UPP and PM Spencer confident of third term


FEELING GOOD: Baldwin Spencer

Mark Fraser

 \\\\\ st john’s

The political leaders of the two main political parties yesterday expressed confidence of being victorious in the general election, as voters cast ballots for a new government in Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, who is seeking a third consecutive term in office for his incumbent United Progressive Party (UPP), told the Caribbean Media Corporation that he was confident that voters would cast their ballots for the continued socio-economic development of the twin-island state.

“I am feeling very very good and based on what I have been able to track for the whole morning it is looking good for the United Progressive Party not only in this constituency but from the information I have been able to garner from the other constituencies,” he said, after casting his ballot at the Green Bay School in his St John’s Rural west constituency.

Spencer said he believes the party will overcome suggestions that big turnout would favour the opposition, saying “I have been hearing that but I think on this occasion we will prove the pundits wrong”.

Public relations officer for the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission (ABEC), Anne Harewood-George, said that they are expecting a higher turn-out than in  2009 poll when 80 per cent of the voters cast ballots.

The leader of the main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP), Gaston Browne, 47, said he expects to win 14 of the 17 seats being contested in yesterday’s general election.

“I am absolutely confident,” he said, adding that the ALP, which was swept out of power in 2004, could win “a minimum of 14 seats, possibly 17.

“The reports are all very positive, people are going out in their numbers, I think the country desires a change and a change is coming,” he told CMC after voting in the City West constituency..

The 164 polling stations opened at 6 am (local time) and will close at 6 pm and Mrs Harewood-George said ABEC was pleased that unlike 2009, when some polling stations opened a few hours late, all the polling stations opened on time.

Long lines have formed outside several of the polling stations and voters used parasols to shield them from the blazing      sun.