ZJB Evening News 6pm Thursday September 18th 2014
A profile of the new government of Montserrat following the general election held on Thursday September 11th 2014.
The Cabinet was sworn-in on Tuesday September 16th.
The ruling People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) led by Mr Donaldson Romeo won seven of the nine seats in the Montserrat Legislative Assembly. The other two were retained by the two members of the erstwhile ruling Movement for Change and Prosperity in the persons of former Premier Reuben Meade and former Minister of Agriculture, Housing, Lands and Environment, Easton Taylor-Farrell.
The new cabinet/government is comprised as profiled below:
Donaldson Romeo: Premier, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism
Mr Romeo first won his seat in the then Montserrat Legislative Council in 2009 as an independent.
Prior to the 2014 election, he was the Opposition Leader since 2011, and achieved the historic first of an Office for Opposition Representatives.
Mr Romeo is also a highly regarded and qualified professional portrait artist.
Delmaude Ryan, Minister for Education, Health and Social Services – and Deputy Premier:
She has spent 16 years public service with the Government of Montserrat; has facilitated youth and adult learning programmes at the Montserrat Secondary School, Montserrat Community College, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Small Business Development programme, HYPE and through her own business establishment, Cassidy, Strategic Business Services.
She has held several senior positions such as: Head, Public Sector Reform Unit; Director (Resp), Performance Management and Development; and Director, Organizational Development. She graduated from the University of the West Indies with a BSc in Public Sector Management, also has an MA in International Development, Public Policy and Management from the University of Manchester in the UK and holds certificates in executive training in public management from York University. She has also been active in the community serving in various church, school and community organizations
Paul Lewis: Minister of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour:
He has been Senior Electrical Inspector with the Government of Montserrat.
(Up to his ministerial appointment) was the President of the Montserrat Civil Service Association.
He served as President of the Caribbean Public Service Association and over the last 10 years has also served as a board director on the Montserrat Utilities Ltd., Social Security, Labour Advisory boards and Chaired the Accident Investigation Board. Paul is a community organizer, and a successful calypso writer, judge and commentator.
Claude Hogan: Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and Environment
Mr Hogan is an avid sportsman, economist, global consultant and regional integrationist. His academic achievements include: first class honors at Kean University, New Jersey, International Diplomacy studies at Harvard, and a Masters in Trade and Economic Law at the University of London.
He has done post-graduate work at the International Development Bank and the World Trade Organization. Claude has over 25 years of professional experience working with DFID, FCO, EU and the United Nations System.
He has worked in a variety of high profile positions: Caricom Diplomat, Project Manager, University Lecturer, and as a previously Member of the Legislative Assembly and Minister of Government.
Gregory Willock: Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Sports and Culture:
He has worked with the Government of Montserrat for 24 years – 14 as a Customs Officer, and 10 as a Computer Technician. He is the Owner/Managing Director of Officetech Ltd. and Founder of Punch and Get Out Productions, a non-profit organisation and charity.
He has also been the Leeward Island’s Cricket Committee Chairman, WICB acting Director, and a member of the WICB Cricket Development Committee.
Mr Willock co-founded the Sir Howard Fergus Scholarship Fund, is a former Chairman of Montserrat Festival Committee, organised the 2012 Living Healthy 50-Strong Challenge and planned the visit of the famous FIFA World Cup Trophy in 2013 on its World Tour to Brazil.
****MONTSERRAT GENERAL ELECTION 2014****
The Final Countdown
Brades, Montserrat, Friday September 12th 2014
Montserrat is to get a new government.
The People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) under the leadership of Donaldson Romeo is to form the next government of Montserrat.
The new party scored a resounding victory in the general election held yesterday, Thursday September 11th, taking control of the island’s Legislative Assembly and government.
Mr Romeo, the former opposition leader who sat as an independent in the last Legislative Assembly, was expected to be sworn in by midday local time today.
His PDM team, formed to contest the election, trounced the former ruling Movement for Change and Prosperity(MCAP) of Reuben T Meade by securing an unassailable seven of the nine seats.
Preliminary voting statistics released by the Montserrat Election Commission show the PDM dominating the election with 50.1 per cent of the votes to MCAP’s 35.3 per cent.
Each voter on Montserrat can vote for all candidates on the ballot paper in the island’s single-constituency system.
Updated figures from the Election Commission show that there were 3,866 registered voters for this election.
Of that 2,750 exercised their mandate, a turnout of 71 per cent.
The population of Montserrat, according to recent estimates, is approximately 5,189, about half the total before the Soufriere Hills volcano started erupting in 1995. (Since 2010 the volcano has not had an eruptive phase).
In all 31 candidates competed for the nine Legislative Assembly seats with the only two fully constituted parties, PDM and MCAP fielding a full slate.
A newly-formed three-candidate group called the Alliance of Independent Candidates (AIC) led by former chief minister Dr Lowell Lewis polled 4.1 per cent.
The ten other candidates ran as stand-alone independents and collectively garnered 10.4 per cent of the votes cast.
Full details of the voting statistics can be found at http://www.elections.ms/
Today Friday September 12th has been declared a public holiday in Montserrat.
***Breaking News: Premier-elect Romeo thanks voters***
The Premier-elect of Montserrat Mr Donaldson Romeo early Friday morning appeared on national radio ZJB/Radio Montserrat to thank voters for practically guaranteeing that his party will form the British territory’s next government.
Mr Romeo spoke as the trend in the counting of the votes and ballots pointed to a clear and convincing victory for his Peoples Democratic Movement(PDM).
The PDM leader appealed for a united Montserrat and reiterated his party’s slogan of putting people first in his incoming administration.
He affirmed that they will stick to their manifesto pledges and commitments.
“There is nothing in that manifesto that we cannot do. I expect us to do even more,” Montserrat’s soon-to-be second premier declared.
(Interviewer: Chelston Lee)
****Breaking News: Meade concedes
Leader of the Movement for Change and Prosperity(MCAP) Reuben T Meade, Premier of Montserrat, early this morning appeared on national radio ZJB/Radio Montserrat to offer congratulations to the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and its leader Donaldson Romeo.
As the ongoing counting trend is indicating, the PDM under Mr Romeo, seems headed for a clear victory from Thursday’s general election.
Listen to Mr Meade as he appeared live on ZJB/Radio Montserrat in the early pre-dawn hours of Friday morning during the coverage of the vote and ballot counting and analysis of the polls and election campaign.
MONTSERRAT VOTES! 6pm Update – Election Day – Thursday September 11th 2014
Voters in Montserrat were today casting ballots to elect a new Legislative Assembly – and government.
Polls which opened at 7am, closed at 6pm.
Thirty-one candidates spread across two political parties, one group of independents and a number of stand-alone candidates, are vying for the nine seats in the British dependency’s Legislative Assembly.
A total of 3,878 persons were registered to vote with each person able to vote for all of the nine candidates on the ballot paper.
Vote counting was due to start about an hour or thereabouts after the polls closed with a result expected by midnight.
Live coverage and analysis of the outcome of today’s poll can be followed online here via the ‘listen to us’ button and tabs as well as on the embedded screen on this page.
(Apologies for the background music within the first minute of the edited newscast)
Montserrat Election Commission website – Elections 2014. http://www.elections.ms/