Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2018

Antigua-Barbuda PM sworn-in for second term

Gaston-Browne1ST JOHN’S - Prime Minister Gaston Browne was sworn-in for a second term on Thursday, after his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) triumphed decisively in Wednesday’s general elections, winning 15 of the 17 seats at stake.

The United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) each captured one seat.

Many viewed the election not as a contest between the ABLP and the UPP but between Browne and Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart’, the owner of Sandals Resorts International, who used the Jamaica Observer, also owned by him, to publish a series of articles vilifying Browne, in an apparent attempt to influence the election.

However, this may have seriously backfired in that it seemed to energise the ABLP base while having little or no effect on UPP voters.

Numerous social media postings reflected this:

“The Antiguan people stood firmly against unrelenting attacks on their sensibilities. Bravo ABLP specifically prime minister Gaston Browne. You have become the Robin Hood of Caribbean politics, fighting the greedy rich to ensure Antiguans across classes eat. You are a hero!”

“This is what happens when your people are educated, understands progress, along with a patriotic prime minister, who will never compromise its sovereignty to any foreign entity. Now he has been given the mandate to deal with Butch Stewart.”

“This was more a victory over a Butch Stewart.”

“Congratulations to Mr Gaston Brown and the people of Antigua. You have the mandate to run that Massa out.”

Nowhere did Browne’s emphatic victory resonate more than in Saint Lucia, where many are unhappy at the perceived unthinking, automatic compliance of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to Stewart’s wishes:

“That will teach him. Antiguans are not Saint Lucians.”

“You hit the nail on the head. When you have a progressive electorate who won’t sell themselves short. One who understands sovereignty and patriotism. Saint Lucia listen and learn.”

“Only we St Lucians that was bought and we are paying for it right now.”

“You see we should be ashamed of ourselves Saint Lucians. Only here can Butch do what he wants. Wake up people.”

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