In a very close general election, the incumbent Unity Labor Party (ULP) of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves has been returned to power in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The party, which won the last general elections five years ago, held on to its eight seats, while the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), of former Prime Minister and economist Arnhim Eustace, won the remaining seven seats in the 15-seat Legislature, the same as in the 2011 general elections.
Tuesday’s victory was the fourth consecutive, five-year victory for the ULP.
Political pundits had predicted that the elections would be too close to call.
The NDP refused to concede defeat, calling for a recount of the vote in Central Leeward. The ULP is also calling for a recount in North Leeward and South Leeward.
Eustace claimed that the general elections were marred by irregularities in many constituencies, including his won in East Kingstown, where he won by less than 50 votes.
Prime Minister Gonsalves, who is expected to be sworn on Thursday, along with his Cabinet, has called for national unity in light of the divisive elections.
“We ask Vincentians to celebrate this victory in peace and maturity,” he said on national radio. “Now is the time to come together as one nation to address our developmental challenges, and move forward to uplift our nation and its people.”