ST. JOHN' S Antigua, January 20, 2023 - Following his narrow victory at the polls, leader of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) Gaston Brown has been sworn in for his third term as Prime Minister, while following his third consecutive defeat at the polls, leader of the United Progressive Party in Antigua and Barbuda (UPP) Harold Lovell has resigned as leader of the party.
Lovell lost his seat by six votes to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party contender Melford Nicholas in the January 18th general elections. He has been succeeded by Deputy Leader Jamale Pringle.
A statement from the UPP said although he is retiring as Political Leader, United Progressive Party in Antigua and Barbuda (UPP) Harold Lovell has resigned United Progressive Party in Antigua and Barbuda (UPP) Harold Lovell has resigned.
He will remain active with the Party, mainly in the role of advisor to the Executive and the incoming Parliamentarians.
“It’s a new day, a new era and the team deserves a fresh start. The UPP is in a very strong position now, the best since 2009, and this is a good time for me to step down.
I know that Brother Pringle is more than capable of leading the Party and he enjoys my committed support,” Lovell said
Lovell was elected Political Leader at the Party’s 2015 Convention and has been the force behind the rebuilding of the UPP since it lost office in 2014.
During his ten years in Government, Lovell served as the Minister of Tourism in his first term and as Minister of Finance & the Economy, in his second term.
According to the UPP statement, Lovell’s service to the UPP and the country will be celebrated later this year at the UPP Convention.
In the meantime, after creating history by becoming the first PM to win three consecutive elections Browne upon being sworn in as Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, expressed his appreciation to his supporters for electing him.
“I am honoured and I want to thank the people of Antigua and Barbuda for the confidence and trust that they have imposed in me and they can be assured of continued commitment to empower them and to take Antigua and Barbuda to the next level of progress and prosperity,” Browne said.
Along with Browne, the MP for St John’s City South, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin was officially sworn in as Attorney General.
The other six Members of Parliament — Maria Browne for St John’s Rural East; Sir Molwyn Joseph, St Mary’s North; Sir Robin Yearwood, St Phillip’s North; Daryll Matthew, St John’s Rural South; EP Chet Greene, St Paul; Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, St John’s Rural North; and Melford Nicholas of St John’s City East are expected to be sworn in some time today with their new portfolios.
“Clearly, we are going to have a smaller Cabinet, one that will be more efficient, so I see that as an opportunity as a result of the reduced size of the win, but in any case, we have very valuable national assets in Sir Robin and Sir Molwyn and we will certainly continue to treat them with the care and respect that they deserve, having served in this country for over 40 years and 30 plus [years] respectively, so I am very pleased to have as a part of my team,” Browne said.
Sir Robin will retire with the best record of any politician in this country, this is now his 11th term in office having never lost his seat since he made his debut in St Phillip’s North in 1976.
It is said that Sir Molwyn, after making his debut and winning the St Mary’s North seat in 1984, he only lost once out of his eight terms — in 2004 — to the United Progressive Party’s Bertrand Joseph.