BRADES: The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) has won a convincing victory in last week’s general elections.
The party, headed by businessman Donaldson Romeo, defeated the incumbent Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) of outgoing premier Reuben T Meade, winning seven of the nine seats in the Legislative Assembly.
Romeo, who polled 1,695 votes, thanked the electorate for the “clear and convincing” victory and said he was confident the promises outlined in the party’s manifesto would be met.
“I believe that once Montserratians are united, on island, off island, there is nothing in that manifesto that we cannot do. I expect us to do even more,” he said. “It is just a matter of leading a team and encouraging our nation to be of that mentality and I don’t think that is going to be difficult because they have already spoken and responded to the agenda. Once we put people first, once we agree on everything that is important to making Montserrat a prosperous and self-sustaining nation it will happen.”
Meade who polled 1,140 votes, conceded defeat, extending congratulations to the PDM for a “very clear election victory.
“Both parties have worked hard. I would like to thank all the persons who supported both PDM and MCAP and also the independents,” he said. “It was an interesting election campaign and clearly one team had to win and PDM won and again my heartiest congratulations to the entire team.”
Among those suffering defeat were former government ministers Colin Riley and Charles Kirnon. They received 866 and 1,070 votes, respectively.
Figures released by the Montserrat Election Commission show the PDM winning 50.1 per cent of the votes to MCAP’s 35.3 per cent.
Each voter on Montserrat can vote for all candidates on the ballot paper in the island’s single-constituency system. There were 3,866 registered voters with 2,750 exercising their mandate, a turnout of 71 per cent.
The Electoral Commission said 31 candidates contested the nine seats, including the newly formed three-candidate group, the Alliance of Independent Candidates (AIC), led by former chief minister, Dr. Lowell Lewis. The group received 4.1 per cent of the votes cast.
The 10 other candidates ran as stand-alone independents and collectively garnered 10.4 per cent of the votes cast.