Honourable Premier of Montserrat Donaldson Romeo announced Monday morning that national elections will be held Monday, November 18. He also confirmed the dissolution of Parliament.
“I look forward to a very lively campaign where all ideas contend, and as usual free and fair elections where the people of Montserrat exercise their democratic right to choose their representatives,” the Premier said on Radio Montserrat during an announcement that lasted just over one minute.
The dissolution of Parliament means that in essence the terms are up for the nine members of the Legislative Assembly and the governing body will be in a virtual holding pattern until the election and sitting of the new Parliament. The Montserrat Constitution states:
Upon a dissolution of the Legislative Assembly the Premier and other Ministers in office at the time of such dissolution shall remain in office and discharge their functions until a general election is held and a Premier is appointed . . . following such election; but such functions may not be exercised, save in the event of a public emergency, to commit or bind the next successor Government to public funding or liability except in the ordinary course of the day to day affairs of Montserrat.
Montserratians on island and in the diaspora had been waiting for weeks for Romeo’s announcement. But the often-embattled Premier waited until the deadline for the dissolution of Parliament. The move gives him a month-plus reprieve to try and mend fences with a Montserrat populace that has been critical of his five-year tenure as Premier.
Romeo earned the most votes in the 2014 national elections as his People’s Democratic Movement captured seven of the nine seats in Parliament. But the party has been plagued by acrimony and defections. Two members – Dr. Ingrid Buffonge and Gregory Willock – crossed the floor and joined the opposition, and another – Claude Hogan – was relieved of his post as Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and Environment.
David Osborne, who replaced Hogan, has been off island addressing health issues, and it is unclear if he will contest the upcoming election. More than 30 persons have announced their intention to run, but that number will not be confirmed until Nomination Day, which is tentatively set for November 7.
Montserrat Election Candidates (tentative)
|Donaldson Romeo (PDM)||Crenston Buffonge (MCAP)|
|Delmaude Ryan (PDM)||Peter Queeley (MULP)|
|Paul Lewis (PDM)||Jermaine Wade (MULP)|
|Claude Hogan (PDM)||Keithroy Morson (MULP)|
|David Osborne (PDM)||Franklyn Greaves (MULP)|
|Dwayne Hixon (PDM)||Bertram Lee (MULP)|
|Emile Duberry (PDM)||Victor James (IND)|
|David Duberry (PDM)||Karen "Lioness" Allen (IND)|
|Easton Taylor-Farrell (MCAP)||Veta Wade (IND)|
|Samuel Joseph (MCAP)||Ingrid Buffonge (IND)|
|Jenzil Skerritt (MCAP)||Alvin "Jim" Gerald (IND)|
|Veronica Dorsette (MCAP)||Gregory Willock (MNC)|
|Roselyn Cassell-Sealy (MCAP)||Chedmond Browne|
|Norman Cassell (MCAP)||Shirley Osborne (IND)|
|Charles Kirnon (MCAP)||Dunstan Lindesay (IND)|
|Charlesworth Phillip (MCAP)||Glenn Francis (IND)|
Montserrat Election Results 2014
|1. Donaldson Romeo (PDM): 1,695||17. Brenda Daley (MCAP): 742|
|2. Ingrid Buffonge (PDM): 1,615||18. Victor James (IND): 657|
|3. Paul Lewis (PDM): 1,507||19. Crenston Buffonge (IND): 533|
|4. David Osborne (PDM): 1,356||20. Geraldine Cabey (IND): 528|
|5. Easton Taylor-Farrell (MCAP): 1,314||21. Justin "Hero" Cassell (MCAP): 525|
|6. Delmaude Ryan (PDM): 1,185||22. Lowell Lewis (AIC): 468|
|7. Reuben T. Meade (MCAP): 1,140||23. Joel Osborne (IND): 320|
|8. Claude Hogan (PDM): 1,112||24. Claude Gerald (AIC): 275|
|9. Gregory Willock (PDM): 1,098||25. David Tuitt (AIC): 222|
|10. Charles Kirnon (MCAP): 1,070||26. Hylroy Bramble (IND): 105|
|11. David Duberry (PDM): 1,045||27. Norman Cassell (IND): 79|
|12. Emile Duberry (PDM): 978||28. Alaric Lynch (IND): 77|
|13. Jermaine Wade (MCAP): 876||29. Wilford "Moose" Meade (IND): 67|
|14. Colin Riley (MCAP): 866||30. Catherine Tuitt (IND): 31|
|15. Samuel Joseph (MCAP): 858||31: Winston Pond (IND): 25|
|16. Leroy Greaves (MCAP): 802||Source: Caribbean Elections|