THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Wednesday April 22, 2015, CMC – Anguillans are voting for a new government on Wednesday with outgoing Chief Minister Hubert Hughes not among the 19 candidates facing the electorate.
The 82 year-old Hughes is not leading the incumbent Anguilla United Movement (AUM) into the polls against the main challenger, the Anguilla United Front (AUF) that is being led by former finance minister and businessman Victor Banks.
The ruling party is being led by medical practitioner Dr. Ellis Lorenzo Webster who took over the leadership of the AUM after Hughes, Anguilla’s oldest chief minister had indicated he was stepping down after 40 years in active politics.
Hughes is the island’s longest serving legislator having first entered politics as a candidate in the 1961 general election when Anguilla was one constituency as part of the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla administration.
Both the AUM and the AUF are fielding seven candidates each in the election for which approximately 11,000 Anguillians are eligible to vote in the 35 square mile British Overseas Territory with a population of just over 13,000.
The almost two year old DOVE party, headed by former Cable and Wireless executive and businessman Sutcliffe Hodge is fielding only three candidates. Hodge ran as an independent candidates in the 2010 general election and narrowly lost to AUF candidate and former Social Development Minister Evans McNiel Rogers by 25 votes.
Pamovan Webster, a lawyer and businessman Statchel Warner are both contesting as independent candidates.
The economy, job creation, infrastructural development and good governance were among the main issues a lengthy election campaign, spanning a little over 12 months.
For the first time in Anguilla’s history, a six member team of independent election observers arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) British Islands and the Mediterranean will be monitoring the polls.
In 2010, the AUM won five of four of the seven seats to take control of the Legislative Council.
The polling stations opened at 6.00 am and close at 7.00 pm (local time).