Recent Political Developments
Baldwin Spencer’s United Progressive Party (UPP) won a narrow victory to secure a second term in office in Antigua and Barbuda’s general election on 12 March 2009. The UPP won nine of the 17 seats with Lester Bird’s Antigua Labour Party (ALP) winning seven and the UPP-aligned Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) securing the Barbuda seat. Since assuming power the UPP government has embarked on a programme of good governance passing legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, Prevention of Corruption Act and Integrity in Public Life Act. The government’s major challenge has been economic reform and tackling the high debt accumulated by the previous administration.
Barbuda has its own 11 member Council headed by its Chairman, Mr Kelvin Punter. The Council has responsibility for electricity, water and education. The island’s main foreign exchange earner is tourism with a small number of small, luxurious hotels. With limited infrastructure, the island of Barbuda, home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, is developed with due regard to the environment. Some years ago there was talk of secession from Antigua but this is no longer an issue.