Antiguans vote on June 12
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has called on supporters to ensure that his ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) is returned to power for a third consecutive term in the June 12 general elections, even as his main challenger, Gaston Browne was telling voters Antigua and Barbuda will be liberated on that day.
Nomination Day is scheduled for May 21 and political observers say control for the 17-seat Parliament will be a straight contest between the UPP and the main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP).
In the 2009 general election, the UPP won nine of the 17 seats with the ALP six and the other seat going to the Barbuda People's Movement.
Spencer, addressing supporters at a mass rally in the village of Potters, east of the capital, said it was important for the UPP to be returned to office in order to continue with the socio-economic programmes and policies that have enhanced the lives of every citizen over the past 10 years.
"We are moving to build a new society, we are moving to create a charter for the future development of Antigua and Barbuda and so we need a third term. We need to be able to stamp our authority on the future development of Antigua and Barbuda for
and on behalf of the people of Antigua
"The elections are very critical. It is very important to the continued development of Antigua and Barbuda. We cannot return to the past. I want to say to you that it is necessary for us to recognise and appreciate that although victory is in sight we cannot drop our guard. I want to tell you that it is not over until it is over," he said.
"We have to make sure we keep going, as I always say, it is not over as the Americans would say, until the fat lady sings. So we have got to make sure my people that all of us, we have our work to do to make sure we concretise and cement this victory,"
Browne, who is leading the ALP into elections for the first time, said he was confident of victory, adding that the naming of the election date was long overdue.
"I think his (Spencer) performance was pathetic and bordering on a pappy show. The 12th of June 2014, will be judgement day for Baldwin Spencer and the UPP. It will be deliverance day for the people of Antigua and Barbuda and victory day for the ALP."
He said June 12 would mark a turning point for the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
The ALP suffered its first electoral defeat in 2004 after nearly 30 years in power held by the iconic and controversial Bird family.
Lester Bird, 76, who succeeded his father and ALP founder Vere Bird Snr as prime minister from 1994 until 2004, lost the ALP's leadership race to Browne in 2012.
About 48,000 people have been registered to vote after a registration in November 2013, the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission had said.