(Observer)Just a few hours after the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) narrowly secured a third term in office, leader of the party Gaston Browne was sworn in as Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
It is important to note that Browne created history by becoming the first PM to win three consecutive elections.
The official ceremony was held at Government House yesterday with dozens of ABLP supporters and the other seven re-elected candidates in attendance.
“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 told this newsroom on Thursday morning.
Along with Browne, as is customary in Antigua and Barbuda, the Attorney General was officially sworn in as well, and that position remains with MP of St John’s City South, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin.
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.
Many will be waiting to see how PM Browne will manoeuvre in appointing these new portfolios as his Cabinet is significantly smaller from the 15 members he would have had in the previous administration.
Browne also confirmed that this would be the last time both Sir Molwyn and Sir Robin would be running for office.
He shared that it will be a bit of a task in ushering new portfolios for them as well. Nevertheless, he remained positive that despite the reduced size of his Cabinet, they are ready to work for the people.
“It will be a phase out in the case of Sir Molwyn, he still has skills that we require in the Ministry of Health. I am not too sure what Sir Robin will decide to do; I will have to have a discussion with him.
“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.
On the other hand, 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.