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Three general elections were contested across the Caribbean region in 2019, resulting in a change of government for two British Oversears Territories; and a strengthened mandate for the ruling party in Dominca.

In the British Virgin Islands, there was a decisive victory for the opposition Vrigin Islands Party led by Andrew Fahie. In Montserrat, the opposition Movement for Change and Prosperity, led by Joseph Easton-Farrell, won five of nine seats. In Dominica, the Roosevelt Skerrit led Dominica Labour Party won a historic fifth consecutive term in office with 18 of 21 seats in the House of Assembly.

In addition to the general elections, there were local elections in Trinidad and Tobago; island council elections in the Dutch Caribbean Teritories; and appointment of new heads of state in a number of countries.

Here is a recap of the 2019 election year.

British Virgin Islands General Election – 25 February 2019

General elections were held in the British Virgin Islands on 25 February 2019. For the first time, four parties with at least one incumbent member were contesting an election.

The result was a decisive victory for the Virgin Islands Party, which won eight of the 13 elected seats. The ruling National Democratic Party won only three seats, with party leader Myron Walwyn losing his seat. Seven of the thirteen seats were won by candidates contesting an election for the first time, all for the Virgin Islands Party, a territory record. The elections were the first in the British Virgin Islands to use electronically tabulated voting rather that manual counts. Voter turnout was 64.64%.

The new Andre Fahie-led VIP Cabinet
Learn more about the 2019 BVI General Election »
Montserrat General Election – 18 November 2019

General elections were held in Montserrat on 18 November 2019 for the nine elected seats in the Legislative Assembly. The result was a victory for the opposition Movement for Change and Prosperity, which won five of the nine elected seats. The People's Democratic Movement lost four seats and was reduced to only three. Former Premier Donaldson Romeo was re-elected as the sole independent Member of the Legislative Assembly. Joseph Easton-Farrell was sworn in as the third Premier of Montserrat on 19 November 2019.

Joseph Easton-Farrell being sworn in as the third Premier of Montserrat on 19 November 2019.
Learn more about the 2019 Montserrat General Election »
Dominica General Election – 6 December 2019

General elections were held in Dominica on 6 December 2019. The elections were constitutionally required to be held by March 2020, but had been widely expected to take place before the end of 2019. Following one of the more contentious elections, the result was a landslide victory for the ruling Dominica Labour Party, which won 18 of the 21 elected seats, gaining three seats. With the DLP winning a fifth consecutive election, DLP leader Roosevelt Skerrit remained Prime Minister.

Roosevelt Skerrit being sworn in as Prime Minister of Dominica on 7 December 2019.
Learn more about the 2019 Dominica General Election »
Elections of Island Councils in Dutch Territories - 20 March 2019

The Island Councils are the bodies of elected people's representatives of each of the public bodies of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba - and previously of each of the island territories of the Netherlands Antilles. The Island Council supervises the island's Executive Council, which is composed of a lieutenant governor and several members. The Island Council may be compared to the municipal council. Like the municipal council, the Island Council is elected directly for a period of four years. The most recent elections to the island councils were held on Wednesday, 20 March 2019.

Bonaire - elections were held to elect the nine members of the Island council and the island's nine Electoral College members for the 2019 Senate elections. With three parties – the Bonaire Democratic Party, Bonaire Patriotic Union and Movement of Bonaire People – each holding three seats on the Island Council going into the elections, the Movement of Bonaire People won four seats and became as the largest party.

Saba - Voters elected the five members of the Island Council, and, for the first time, the five members of the Electoral College for the Dutch Senate. The result was a victory for the ruling Windward Islands People's Movement (WIPM), which won all five seats in the Island Council and four of the five seats in the Senate Electoral College.

Sint Eustatius - Voters in St. Eustatius were able to cast their vote for Electoral College representatives for the first time. The DP Statia party, the only party that participated in the electoral college election received all valid votes.

Trinidad and Tobago Local Elections – 2 December 2019

Local elections in Trinidad and Tobago were held on 2 December 2019, contesting 139 electoral districts across Trinidad's 14 municipal corporation electoral areas. With the exception of those areas that have had boundary changes, the seats up for election were last contested in the 2016 local elections.

With an electorate of 1,079,976 in 139 electoral districts in Trinidad, there was a voter turn-out of 34.49%. The United National Congress (UNC) received a majority of the popular vote with 202,584 votes or 54.38% of the total votes cast.

Both the UNC and People’s National Movement (PNM)  won seven corporations, with the UNC capturing Sangre Grande which was previously held by the PNM.

New Heads of State

In addition to national elections, we also welcomed new governors-general and governors in some Caribbean countries:

The Bahamas – Sir Cornelius A. Smith, GCMG, 10th Governor-General, 28 June 2019.

Turks and Caicos Islands – H.E. Nigel Dakin, 15th Governor, 15 July 2019.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – H.E. Susan Dougan, OBE, first woman Governor-General, 1 August 2019.

On 7 August 2019, Puerto Rico's Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as Governor of Puerto Rico, replacing the embattled Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Towards 2020

Notwithstanding the possibility of snap elections, there will be several constitutionally due elections in 2020.

Country Head of Government Term Last Election Next Election
Anguilla Chief Minister Victor BANKS 5 years 22 Apr 2015 Apr 2020
Belize Prime Minister Dean BARROW 5 years 04 Nov 2015 Nov 2020
Dominican Republic President Danilo MEDINA 4 years 15 May 2016 17 May 2020
Guyana President David GRANGER 5 years 11 May 2015 2 Mar 2020
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez GARCED 4 years 08 Nov 2016 3 Nov 2020
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy HARRIS 5 years 16 Feb 2015 Feb 2020
St. Vincent and the
Grenadines
Prime Minister Ralph GONSALVES 5 years 09 Dec 2015 Dec 2020
Suriname President Dési BOUTERSE 5 years 25 May 2015 May 2020
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith ROWLEY 5 years 07 Sep 2015 Sep 2020
Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Sharlene CARTWRIGHT-ROBINSON 4 years 15Nov 2016 Dec 2020
In Memoriam 2019
In memoriam 2018

A reflection on the lives of those Caribbean leaders we've lost in 2019.

View our In Memoriam 2019 feature »

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