Preliminary figures released by the electoral office showed that the ULP had won nine of the 15 seats in the Parliament, an increase of three seats on the one-seat majority he had in the past two general elections.
It is the first time that a political party in St Vincent has won five consecutive general elections.
The 74 year old Gonsalves easily won his North Central Windward seat he has been representing since 1994, brushing aside his two contenders - Chieftain Neptune of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) and Kadmiel McFee of the CVG Green Party.
He defeated first-time candidate Chieftain Neptune, of the NDP, by 2,853 votes to 886, while Kadmeal McFee, one of two candidates fielded by the SVG Green Party, got 10 votes.
In securing a fifth term in office, the ULP dashed the hopes of 61 year old NDP leader Godwin Friday’s hopes of becoming the nation’s fifth prime minister. Friday, however, secured a fifth consecutive term as MP for the Northern Grenadines, defeating first-time candidate, Carlos Williams, of the ULP, 2,123 votes to 458 in the traditional NDP stronghold.
In a message posted on his Facebook page, Gonsalves thanked voters for returning the ULP to power.
“It’s celebration time. It is five in they tail,” he wrote. “I am humbled and honoured that the people of St Vincent & the Grenadines embraced our bold vision for the future and rejected the politics of hate, backwardsness and colonialism."
Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves fended off a strong challenge by a female first-time candidate, where the NDP’s Laverne Gibson-Velox lost by 186 in the constituency of East St. George.
Gonsalves, who is heir apparent to his father, the prime minister, obtained 2,845 votes compared to the 2,659 that Gibson-Velox, was able to attract. In the 2015 polls, the finance minister secured the highest number of votes, eclipsing his father, the prime minister.
Elected to Parliament for the first time is the ULP’s Orando Brewster, who secured a convincing 521-vote victory over the NDP’s Benjamin Exeter in Central Leeward.
Brewster got 2700 votes, compared to Exeter’s 2179, a better showing than former deputy prime minister Sir Louis Straker, who came out of retirement in 2015, to contest the seat for yet another time.
In 2015, Sir Louis won the seat by 313 ballots in a vote that is still the subject of an election petition that is still proceeding before the Court of Appeal.
Dwight “Fitzgerald” Bramble, who replaced former NDP leader Arnhim Eustace, 76, who did not seek re-election after five terms, due to declining health, defeated Health Minister Luke Brown, by 241 votes amassing 2,547 votes, compared to Browne’s 2,306.
In yesterday’s elections, electoral officials say that 98,119 persons were registered to vote in this country of 110,000 residents.
The incumbent Unity Labour Party, as well as the main opposition New Democratic Party each fielded 15 candidates while the SVG Green party fielded two candidates.
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