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Montserrat General Election Results - 8 September 2009

General elections were held in Montserrat on 8 September 2009, two years earlier than constitutionally necessary.

Electoral System

The Legislative Assembly has eleven members, of which nine are elected. The other two seats are taken by the Attorney General and the Financial Secretary. The British Overseas Territory is a single nine-member constituency, with voters able to vote for up to nine candidates on their ballot paper.

Background

Two new political parties were formed ahead of the September 8 general election. The Montserrat Labour Party (MLP) was established by three former members of the New People's Liberation Movement (NPLM), while another former minister formed the Montserrat Reformation Party (MRP). The MLP was founded by former ministers Margaret Dyer-Howe and Idabelle Meade and one-time legislator Chedmond Browne. Meantime, Adelina Tuitt, who served as Education and Health Minister from 1996-2001, co-founded the MRP with life-long educator and public servant Alric Taylor.  The Legislative Assembly was dissolved on Tuesday, 16 June 2009; and Nomination Day was set for Tuesday, 18 August 2009.

Political Parties & Candidates

Twenty-four candidates contested the elections. The nine seats were contested by four parties - the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) led by Reuben T.  Meade with a full slate of nine candidates;  the Montserrat Labour Party (MLP) led by Idabelle Meade with three candidates; the Montserrat Reformation Party (MRP) led by Adelina Tuitt with two candidates; and the Funny Ways Party (FWP) with Sylvia White-Gabriel as its sole candidate.  Nine independent candidates also contested the election.  Nomination Day was 18 August 2009.

Election Campaign

The campaign focused on Montserrat's economy, which has been crippled by a downturn in tourism caused by eruptions of the island's volcano, which became active in the mid-1990s and erupted in 1997, killing 19 and forcing permanent evacuation of the capital, Plymouth. Voters complained that a lack of jobs was forcing young people to leave Montserrat.

Results

The election resulted in Joseph Easton Taylor-Farrell receiving the highest number of votes, with five of his fellow MCAP candidates also receiving seats.  The remaining seats went to three independent candidates including the outgoing Chief Minister Lowell Lewis.  The Movement for Change and Prosperity held a parliamentary majority in the Government, led by Mr Reuben Meade. 

Voter Turnout

Approximately 66% turnout of the 3,516 registered voters participated in the well-organised and orderly election.

Post-election

On Thursday, 10 September 2009, 55-year-old economist Reuben Meade took the oath of office as Chief Minister of the British Overseas Territory for the second time, having previously served as Chief Minister from 1991-1996.

Meade, overseeing the Finance, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism portfolio, was joined in the new cabinet by Charles Kirnon, who had responsibility for Labour, Communications, and Works. The team of four full-fledged ministers, as provided for by the island's constitution, was completed by two cabinet rookies - Easton Taylor-Farrell and Colin Riley.  Taylor-Farrell took charge of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, and the Environment, while Riley was in charge of Education, Health, Community Services, Sports, and Youth Affairs. Meade also appointed two junior ministers - former youth parliamentarian Jermaine Wade, whose primary focus was Sports and Youth Affairs and David Osborne, who carried out special functions within the Office of the Chief Minister.

Three independent candidates, including former Chief Minister Dr Lowell Lewis, were sworn in as opposition members at the first sitting of parliament, with Donaldson Romeo becoming Leader of the Opposition.
A new constitution for Montserrat came into force on 27 September 2011.  The role of Premier replaced that of Chief Minister, and the Legislative Assembly replaced the Legislative Council. Reuben Meade became the first Premier under the new constitution.

SEAT DISTRIBUTION
Seat Distribution
ELECTORAL MAP
Electoral Map
ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System Voters vote for up to nine candidates on their ballot paper
Elected Members A single nine-member constituency
VOTER TURNOUT
Total Valid Ballots 2,315
Invalid Ballots 32
Total Ballots Cast 2,347
Registered Voters 3,516
Voter Turnout 66.75%
   
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of Legislative Assembly Tue, 16 Jun 2009
Nomination Day Tue, 18 Aug 2009
Polling Day Tue, 8 Sep 2009
PARTY MANIFESTOS View all Members of Parliament of Barbados
Download
MCAP 2009 Manifesto
Download
Lowell LEWIS
2009 Manifesto
   
SUMMARY RESULTS
Party Code Votes % votes Candidates Seats
Movement for Change and Prosperity MCAP 10,139 52.64% 9 6
Montserrat Labour Party MLP 2,011 10.44% 3 0
Montserrat Reformation Party MRP 954 4.95% 2 0
Funny Ways Party FWP 140 0.73% 1 0
Independents IND 6,017 31.24% 9 3
Total 19,261 100% 24 9
SUMMARY RESULTS BY CANDIDATE
Candidate Party Total % Ballots % Votes  
Joseph FARRELL MCAP 1,472 63.6% 7.6% Winner
Charles KIRNON MCAP 1,363 58.9% 7.1% Winner
David OSBORNE MCAP 1,148 49.6% 6.0% Winner
Colin RILEY MCAP 1,140 49.2% 5.9% Winner
Reuben MEADE MCAP 1,139 49.2% 5.9% Winner
Donaldson ROMEO IND 1,059 45.7% 5.5% Winner
Jermaine WADE MCAP 1,043 45.1% 5.4% Winner
Lowell LEWIS IND 1,000 43.2% 5.2% Winner
Victor JAMES IND 999 43.2% 5.2% Winner
Leroy GREAVES MCAP 990 42.8% 5.1%  
Roselyn CASSELL-SEALY MCAP 987 42.6% 5.1%  
Herman FRANCIS MCAP 857 37.0% 4.4%  
David TUITT IND 808 34.9% 4.2%  
Idabelle GRIFFITH-MEADE MLP 791 34.2% 4.1%  
Alric J. TAYLOR MRP 706 30.5% 3.7%  
Margaret DYER-HOWE MLP 650 28.1% 3.4%  
Warren CASSELL IND 631 27.3% 3.3%  
Chedmond BROWNE MLP 570 24.6% 3.0%  
John PONTEEN IND 559 24.1% 2.9%  
Alaric LYNCH IND 446 19.3% 2.3%  
Christopher LEE IND 310 13.4% 1.6%  
Adelina TUITT MRP 248 10.7% 1.3%  
Bennette ROACH IND 205 8.9% 1.1%  
Sylvia WHITE-GABRIEL FWP 140 6.0% 0.7%  
Total   19,261
ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLLY View all Members of Parliament of Barbados
The unicameral Legislative Assembly compries 11 seats - 9 members popularly elected to serve five-year terms; the Attorney General and Financial Secretary sit as ex-officio members. The Council was constituted as follows:
Representative Party
Reuben T. MEADE Movement for Change and Prosperity
Easton TAYLOR-FARRELL Movement for Change and Prosperity
Charles KIRNON Movement for Change and Prosperity
David OSBORNE Movement for Change and Prosperity
Colin RILEY Movement for Change and Prosperity
Jermaine WADE Movement for Change and Prosperity
Donaldson ROMEO Independent
Lowell LEWIS Independent
Victor JAMES Independent
Key
MCAP = Movement for Change and Prosperity; MNC = Montserrat National Congress; MULP = Montserrat United Labour Party; PDM = People's Democratic Movement; IND = Independent Candidate; *incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
Montserrat Electoral Commission
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