‘We are humbled’: Victory for BPM with clean sweep in Barbuda Council elections

Barbuda MP Trevor Walker
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Barbuda’s affairs will be controlled by those with its people’s best interests at heart.

That was the vitriolic stance of the sister isle’s MP yesterday as he celebrated a resounding victory for his BPM party in Wednesday’s Barbuda Council elections.

The BPM saw a clean sweep in the poll, claiming all four seats up for grabs which were also contested by four ABLP candidates and two independent runners. It means the party retains all elected seats on the local governing body.

Trevor Walker said the result was a “rejection of the philosophy and ideology” of the Gaston Browne-led ABLP by the people of Barbuda.

The four candidates representing the incumbent party all secured final votes considerably higher than their opponents.

Devon Warner was re-elected after claiming 438 votes, as was Sharima Deazle who got 417. First-time candidates John Mussington and Fitzroy Warner rounded off the BPM’s success with 433 and 395 votes respectively.

“We are humbled,” Walker told yesterday’s Observer AM show. “We said on Tuesday that we would take all these seats and it happened. I had absolutely no fear that the people of Barbuda would go out and vote for the BPM.”

The ABLP slate saw Bentham Lewis finishing with 193 votes, Mackeisha Desouza with 222, Orlando Morris with 220 and Zaria Nedd with 193.

The two independent candidates – Jermaine Desouza and Ordrick Samuel – finished with 113 and 12 votes respectively.

Walker said the BPM team had done “an awesome job” running a tireless campaign on limited resources.

“We campaigned, we knocked on doors, we walked the streets of Barbuda, did public meetings and met as a team,” he said.

Friction between the Barbuda Council and central government in recent years has been well documented. A long-running dispute over land ownership is at the crux of the discord and many Barbudans remain bitterly opposed to the sale of land on the sister isle and the creation of large-scale developments.

Walker was also asked about the potential scaling-up of those tensions.

“We expect the Prime Minister to ratchet up that whole anti-Barbuda situation,” he said. “But we will not give up, we will press on.

“We are determined that Barbuda must be controlled by us in a way that will benefit the people of Barbuda and we are not going to allow anything other than that.”

A handful of seats on the 11-member Barbuda Council are up for election every two years. Votes were cast on Wednesday from 7am to 6pm at the Holy Trinity Primary School.

The Council is comprised of nine directly elected and two ex-officio members, namely Barbuda’s MP and Senator.

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