BUSINESS

Antigua celebrates PM Gaston Browne’s re-election victory

TAGs: Antigua, gaston browne

antigua-barbuda-gaston-browne-election-victoryCalvinAyre.com wants to congratulate Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne (pictured) on his decisive victory in Antigua and Barbuda’s recent general election.

On March 21, Antigua and Barbuda voters went to the polls to choose representatives for the 17 seats in the nation’s parliamentary system. Browne’s Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) captured 15 of these seats in a result that was nowhere near as close as analysts had forecast.

The ABLP’s rout of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) was underscored by the fact that UPP leader and former Antiguan finance minister Harold Lovell failed to win his own seat in a contest with ABLP MP Melford Nicholas.

The UPP ended up winning only a single seat, while another seat went to the Barbuda People’s Movement. Meanwhile, no Democratic Alliance candidate managed to win any of their races.

Despite the lopsided victory, Browne urged ABLP supporters not to gloat and instead called for all parties to cast aside partisan instincts and “cooperate toward the betterment of Antigua and Barbuda.”

The victory is a vote of confidence for Browne’s ABLP continuing the work it started four years ago. Browne was first elected Antigua and Barbuda’s leader in 2014 and he immediately adopted a fresh approach to the country’s longstanding online gambling trade dispute with the United States.

This included replacing the legal team representing the country in its fight with the US goliath and making a good-faith offer to accept a fraction of the nearly $300m the World Trade Organization says the US owes Antigua for decimating its once-thriving online gambling industry.

Despite these changes, the US remains obstinately convinced that it can ignore the multiple WTO rulings in Antigua’s favor, largely due to its balance of trade with the comparatively tiny Caribbean nation. This harsh stance persisted even in the wake of the devastation wrought on Barbuda last year by Hurricane Irma, and the Antiguan government’s pleas for funds needed to rebuild Barbuda’s infrastructure.

This site’s founder Calvin Ayre has made Antigua his home since 2006 and holds Antiguan citizenship. In 2017, Ayre was appointed a special economic envoy with responsibility for advising the government on blockchain technology business opportunities with other sovereign states.

In February, Ayre doubled down on his belief in Antigua as a land of economic opportunity by announcing plans to develop a five-star resort in Antigua’s Valley Church beach area. Principal construction of the new resort is set to commence in late summer 2018.

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