Montserrat voters go to the polls to elect new government

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Premier Reuben Meade and Opposition leader Donaldson Romero (File Photo)

BRADES, Montserrat, Thursday September 11, 2014, CMC – Voters in this tiny British Overseas Territory are casting their votes on Thursday to elect a new government.

Political observers say the contest is between the incumbent Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) headed by Premier Reuben T Meade and the recently formed People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) led by businessman Donaldson Romeo. Both parties are contesting all nine seats at stake in the Legislative Council.

The Electoral Office said 31 candidates had been nominated to contest the polls, including a record number of 13 independents.

Three of the independents including former premier Dr. Lovell Lewis have come together under the banner of the Association of Independent Candidates (AIC).

The 12 polling stations in the six electoral districts in the volcano ravaged island opened at 7.00 am (local time) and will close at 6.00 P.M. There are 3, 886 eligible voters.

In the 2009 general election, the MCAP won six of the nine seats with independent candidates including Lewis, winning the other three seats. In the 2009 poll, 2347 people voted.

Meade has campaigned on the theme that his administration needs another term to continue the work it started in 2009.

“Looking at where the country was in 2009…we think we deserve the opportunity to complete the work we started”.

But the PDM says it is quietly confident of winning the election that is observed by a four-member team from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

“We are not going to count our chickens before they are hatched, but the hens are crackling. So it is PDM all the way,” Romeo said.

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