Spencer returned with smaller margin

(BBC) – The United Progressive Party of Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has been re-elected with a reduced majority after Thursday’s general elections.

Preliminary results show that the UPP had secured nine of the 17 seats in parliament.
The Antigua Labour Party, led by former Prime Minister Lester Bird, took the other seven seats on Antigua.

The single constituency on Barbuda was won by a single vote by a candidate of the Barbuda People’s Movement, an ally of the governing party.

In the previous election in 2004, the UPP took 12 seats with the ALP taking four and the BPM one seat.

Among the winners this time for the UPP were cabinet ministers Harold Lovell, John Maginley and Jackie Quinn-Leandro.

But Finance Minister Errol Cort was beaten by Mr Bird, reversing the result of the previous election in 2004.
Also winning for the ALP were leading party members Steadroy Benjamin, Asot Michael and Gaston Browne.
Election officials had earlier struggled to cope with numerous problems on polling day which resulted in several polling stations opening up to five hours late.

The commission apologised for the delays, saying they were due mainly to printing malfunctions.
One exasperated official also cited a rush by around 5,000 people, who “somehow only realised that they had lost their registration cards in the past (day or so)”.

Local radio stations were deluged with calls from frustrated voters.
Some people at the affected polling stations had started leaving, claiming that they had turned up at 5a.m and waited for several hours beyond the scheduled opening time. By early afternoon the most of the glitches had been sorted out.
Politicians from all parties called it an embarrassment.
Over 50,000 people were eligible to vote.

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