THE VALLEY, Anguilla – The main opposition Anguilla United Front won six of the seven parliamentary seats that were up for grabs in the British Overseas Territory’s general elections, electoral officials confirmed.
The seventh seat went to an independent, leaving the ruling Anguilla United Movement with no representation, according to preliminary figures.
Physician Ellis Lorenzo Webster, who took over the leadership of the AUM after outgoing Chief Minister Hubert Hughes, 82, said he was retiring after 40 years in active politics, lost the District One race to independent Pamovan Webster, a lawyer and businessman.
AUF leader Victor Banks, a former finance minister, comfortably won District Four, polling 1,057 votes against 655 for the AUM’s Evans Gumbs.
The closest results were in District Five, where the AUF’s Evalie Bradley edged out Patrick Hanley of the AUM by one vote.
An estimated 11,000 of Anguilla’s roughly 13,000 residents were eligible to choose from among 19 candidates vying to fill the seven elective seats in the House of Assembly, which also includes four appointed members.
In 2010, the AUM won five of the seven seats.
The AUF campaigned on a promise to bring Anguilla out of recession, create youth employment, improve national health services and combat gang violence and drugs.
The elections were observed for the first time by a six-member team from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
The economy, infrastructure development and good governance were among the main issues during an election campaign that spanned more than a year.