|Founded||18 May 1946|
|Ideology|| Social democracy |
|Seats in the House of Representatives|
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The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is a political party in Antigua and Barbuda. The current leader of the party is Gaston Browne, who serves as the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. The party had previously been led by Lester Bird, who was chairman of the party since 1971, and became Prime Minister and political leader in 1994.
The party was founded in 1946, during the first national elections, as the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Its founders included Vere Bird, father of Lester. The ABLP later came to be seen as a political arm of the Bird family. With the exception of five years in the 1970s, the ABLP ruled Antigua and Barbuda for over four decades leading up to 2004. It was in the opposition from 2004 to 2014, and then returned to power in the 2014 general election.
Two major events precipitated the ABLP's first defeat in 28 years in the 2004 elections. First, an Electoral Commission was introduced after the 1999 election. According to international observers, the 1999 election was rife with irregularities. The report from an observer group from across the Commonwealth concluded that "voting rolls appeared to be inflated" and recommended "the establishment of an independent electoral commission to improve the voter registration process."Second, in 2002 there was a scandal over medical benefits, in which the government failed to contribute EC$120 million to cover recipients' medical expenses.
The opposition United Progressive Party campaigned on an anti-corruption platform they called "Government in the Sunshine." The ABLP lost its majority in the general election held on 24 March 2004. It received 41.8% of the popular vote, but won only four out of 17 seats. ABLP Prime Minister and political leader Bird was also defeated in his constituency.
In early 2009, the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party faced an internal leadership crisis. There was speculation that even if the ABLP won the 2009 election, Bird's leadership would be challenged.He announced that, if the ABLP failed to win the forthcoming 2009 general election, he would step down. Nevertheless, despite not winning, he remained the ABLP's leader until 2012, when he was defeated by Gaston Browne in a leadership challenge.
The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party won 14 of the 17 seats in the Legislature in the 2014 general elections, forming a majority government with Browne as Prime Minister. They won 15 seats in the 2018 general elections and thereby retained power.
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Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign country in the West Indies. It lies at the juncture of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the Leeward Islands part of the Lesser Antilles, at 17°N latitude. The country consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, approximately 40 km (20 mi) apart, and several smaller islands, including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden, Prickly Pear, York, and Redonda. The permanent population is approximately 97,120, 97% residing in Antigua. St. John's, Antigua, is the country's capital, major city, and largest port. Codrington is Barbuda's largest town.
The politics of Antigua and Barbuda takes place in a framework of a unitary parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, wherein the sovereign of Antigua and Barbuda is the head of state, appointing a governor-general to act as vice-regal representative in the nation. A prime minister is appointed by the governor-general as the head of government, and of a multi-party system; the prime minister advises the governor-general on the appointment of a Council of Ministers. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Parliament. The bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The history of Antigua and Barbuda covers the period from the arrival of the Archaic peoples thousands of years ago to the present day. Prior to European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Antigua and Barbuda were inhabited by three successive Amerindian societies. The island was claimed by England, who settled the islands in 1632. Under English/British control, the islands witnessed an influx of both Britons and African slaves migrate to the island. In 1981, the islands were granted independence as the modern state of Antigua and Barbuda.
Sir Lester Bryant Bird KNH was an Antigua and Barbuda politician and athlete who served as the second prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda from 1994 to 2004. He was chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) from 1971 to 1983, then became prime minister when his father, Sir Vere Bird, the previous prime minister, resigned.
Sir Vere Cornwall Bird, KNH was the first Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. His son, Lester Bryant Bird, succeeded him as Prime Minister. In 1994 he was declared a national hero.
General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 23 March 2004. The result was a victory for the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP), which defeated the incumbent Antigua Labour Party. Baldwin Spencer, leader of the UPP, replaced Lester Bird as Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, with Bird being one of eight Labour MPs to lose his seat. Spencer became only the second Prime Minister from outside the Bird family or the Labour Party.
Winston Baldwin Spencer is an Antiguan politician who was the third Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda from 2004 to 2014.
Elections in Antigua and Barbuda take place in the framework of a parliamentary democracy.
The Barbuda People's Movement is a centre-left Barbudan nationalist political party in Antigua and Barbuda active only on the island of Barbuda. The party's symbol is the European fallow deer, national animal of Barbuda.
The Barbuda People's Movement for Change is a political party in Barbuda, part of Antigua and Barbuda.
Vere Bird Jr. was an Antiguan lawyer and politician who served as chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) and a government minister. He was the son of Vere Bird, the former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and brother of Lester Bird, who later held the same position.
Robin Yearwood is an Antiguan politician and member of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Entering Parliament in 1976, Yearwood served as Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries in the ALP administration until a cabinet reshuffle in 1987 saw him take over Vere Bird, Jr.'s portfolio for Aviation, Public Information and Public Utilities. Despite a failed attempt to oust the Prime Minister he retained this position, and kept it when he became Deputy Prime Minister on 9 September 2002 and Minister of Finance a year later. Following the ALP's loss in the 2004 election, Yearwood was one of only three ALP members left in the lower house, and became Leader of the Opposition. He held this position until 2006, when he was replaced with Steadroy Benjamin.
Asot Michael is the Member of the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda elected from Saint Peter Constituency. He was also the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy under Prime Minister Gaston Browne. He is a member of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 12 June 2014. The result was a victory for the opposition Antigua Labour Party led by Gaston Browne, which won 14 of the 17 seats. Following the election, Browne became the country's youngest Prime Minister.
Gaston Alfonso Browne is an Antiguan politician serving as the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda and leader of the Labour Party since 2014. Before entering politics, he was a banker and businessman.
General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 21 March 2018 to elect members to House of Representatives of the 15th Antigua and Barbuda Parliament. Each of the 17 constituencies elected one Member of Parliament (MP).
Maria Vanessa Bird-Browne is a politician in Antigua and Barbuda. She was elected as a member of the House of Representatives for St. John's Rural East in the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda in 2018, becoming the youngest lawmaker in the country and the youngest female member of parliament across the Commonwealth. She is the country's minister for housing, lands, and urban renewal.
Trevor Myke Walker is a Barbudan politician and former Cabinet Minister under the Baldwin Spencer administration.
General elections were held in Antigua and Barbuda on 18 January 2023 to elect members of the House of Representatives. The Labour Party (ABLP) has held an absolute majority of 15 seats in the House of Representatives after the 2018 general election, with Gaston Browne remaining as prime minister. Browne initiated a constitutional referendum after the 2018 election, which was rejected by voters, and following the death of Elizabeth II in 2022, he announced his intention to organise a referendum for the transition of Antigua and Barbuda to a republican system. Besides ABLP, the United Progressive Party (UPP), Democratic National Alliance, Barbuda People's Movement (BPM), and three independent politicians filed candidacies for the 2023 general election.
Gail Christian is an Antiguan and Barbudan politician and senator. She is a senator of the Upper House of Parliament in Antigua and Barbuda. She was appointed senator by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
The Barbuda Council has been controlled by the BPM since the first election was held around 35 years ago. The ALP gained control for a brief period in 1996.