BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- (AP) -- Prime Minister Owen Arthur's party won
all but two parliamentary seats, election officials announced Thursday, sweeping to
victory on the basis of the island's solid economic performance.
The electoral council said the governing Barbados Labor Party won 26 of
constituencies and captured 66 percent of the votes. The remainder went to the
Democratic Labor Party led by 37-year-old lawyer David Thompson, who won
one of the two opposition seats.
Before the election, Arthur's party held 19 of the 28 seats in Parliament.
projected that the governing party would win but with a smaller majority.
Arthur was gracious in victory. ``We have to give a richer meaning to the
`political inclusiveness,' '' he said. Analysts took that to mean he would offer some
Cabinet seats to the opposition.
The 48-year-old economist has promised to end unemployment and create a
``new and unprecedented prosperity'' on one of the Caribbean's better-off islands.
``The swing to the Barbados Labor Party is kind of awesome,'' political
George Belle of the University of the West Indies said on national television.
About 60 percent of the 203,000 registered voters participated, according
Many voters said they were impressed by Arthur's success in cutting
unemployment from 22 percent to 11 percent. His campaign rallies were festive
occasions, with supporters dancing and singing Arthur's bubbly calypso theme
song, Goin' with Owen.
Copyright © 1999 The Miami Herald