MCAP wins Montserrat election; outgoing chief minister in opposition

BRADES, Montserrat, September 9, 2009 – A public holiday has been declared in Montserrat today after the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) emerged victorious in an election that came two years earlier than constitutionally due. The outcome of the poll left the outgoing chief minister who called the snap poll to sit in opposition in the British Overseas Territory’s Legislative Council.

When the results of yesterday’s election were announced in the early hours of this morning MCAP, led by Reuben Meade, secured six of the nine seats up for grabs, while former chief minister Dr Lowell Lewis and two other independents took the remaining seats. 

Meade, who served as Chief Minister from 1991 to 1996, is expected to be sworn in as the country’s leader later today and may select his Cabinet as well. The other successful MCAP candidates he can draw from are Easton Taylor-Farrell, Charles Kirnon, David Osborne, Colin Riley and Jermaine Wade.

Dr Lewis, who led a coalition government with MCAP in the last Legislative Council, will join Donaldson Romeo and Victor James on the opposition bench this time around.

MCAP was the only party to have a full slate of candidates. The other parties to contest the election – the Montserrat Labour Party (MLP) and the Montserrat Reformation Party (MRP) – did not win any seats.

Dr Lewis ran as an independent in yesterday’s election after his Montserrat Democratic Party (MDP) could not find enough candidates for the poll.

When his coalition with MCAP collapsed earlier this year as a result of lack of support for his decisions, he called for elections which were not constitutionally due until 2011.