BVI residents go to the polls
The Elections Office says a record number of candidates are contesting Monday’s general election.
ROAD TOWN, BVI, Monday November 7, 2011 - Around 12, 609 residents were eligible to cast their ballots today to elect a new government.
The Elections Office said that figure is just over 1,400 more than those registered for the 2007 polls.
A record 43 candidates are contesting the election - 27 for the district seats and 16 for the territorial at-large seats.
The 19 polling stations in the British Overseas Territory were due to open at 6 a.m and close at 6 p.m.
The Department of Information and Public Relations has said the counting of territorial ballots will be done in the districts for the first time.
The ruling Virgin Islands Party, under the leadership of Ralph O’Neal, is seeking a second term in office.
The opposition National Democratic Party led by Dr. D. Orlando Smith, is fielding candidates in eight districts.
The newly formed People’s Patriotic Alliance is also contesting the election.
The polls are being observed by a joint Observer Mission organized by CARICOM, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region.
The team is led by Ambassador Rudolph Collins, former chairman of Guyana’s Elections Commission.
The other members are Alex Downie from the Isle of Man; Eugene Petty, former Supervisor of Elections St Kitts and Nevis; Mignon Bowen from the CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana; and several British parliamentarians.
The mission is expected to write a report on its findings after the conclusion of the polls.