The Miami Herald
January 22, 1999
Ruling party gains seats in Barbados

             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 the 28
             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. Polls had
             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 term
             `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 scientist
             George Belle of the University of the West Indies said on national television.

             About 60 percent of the 203,000 registered voters participated, according to early

             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.


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