ST. JOHN’S: 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.
The nation’s political observers say control for the 17-seat Parliament will be a 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, the ALP won six and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) won one.
During an address to supporters at a rally in the village of Potters, east of St. John’s, Spencer said it was important for the UPP to be returned to office in order to continue with the socio-economic programs and policies that have enhanced the lives of the nation’s citizen over the past decade.
“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 & Barbuda for and on behalf of the people of Antigua & Barbuda.
“The elections are very critical. It is very important to the continued development of Antigua & Barbuda. We cannot return to the past. I want to say to you that it is necessary for us to recognize 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.
Spencer’s main challenger, Gaston Browne, who is leading the ALP into elections for the first time, said he was confident of victory and that June 12 would mark a turning point for the people of Antigua & Barbuda.
“It will be deliverance day for the people of Antigua & Barbuda and victory day for the ALP,” he said.
The ALP suffered its first electoral defeat in 2004 after nearly 30 years in power held by the Bird family.