Montserratians vote today

New York, N.Y., May 31, 2006 – A New York-based Montserratian is predicting that no one party will claim victory today as the people of the volcano ravaged island go to the poll.

Vera Weekes, top advocate for Montserratian affairs in the U.S., told HBN yesterday, “There are so many people running for elections that it may end up in a [run-off].”

Three thousand, two hundred and twenty nine registered voters on the British dependent territory are set to cast their votes today to choose a new government from three political parties and four independent candidates.

The ruling New People’s Liberation Movement party, led by incumbent Chief Minister John Osborne, is defending its seat while The Movement for Change and Prosperity of MCAP, led by Roselyn Cassell-Sealy, the Montserrat Democratic Party led by Lowell Lewis are facing-off against the NPLM.

The NPLM is fielding 8 candidates. They are Chief Minister Osborne, Margaret ‘Annie Dyer-Howe, Idabelle Meade, John Wilson, Eustace Dyer, Roy ‘Slim’ Daley, David Osborne, son of John Osborne, and Hylroy Bramble.

MCAP is fielding 9 candidates including former Chief Minister Reuben T Meade, Charles Kirnon, Easton Farrell-Taylor, Peter ‘Joe’ West, Gerard Grey, Dr. Vernon Buffonge, David ‘Peter Jackie’ Tuitt and Julian Daniel.

While Lewis’ other candidates are Claude Gerald, David Gerald, Elizabeth Piper-Wade, John Ponteen, Roy Greaves, Jim Bass, and Donaldson Romeo.

There are four independent candidates – Claude ES Hogan, David S Brandt, a former chief minister, Chedmon Brown and James R. Osborne.

John Osborne, who first became chief minister in 1978, says he will remain in office if his party wins again. Elections were last held on Montserrat in 2001 and comes following the recent collapse of a dome at the Soufriere Hills volcano.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Haliyma Barrow contributed to this story. (HBN)