United Progressive Party (Antigua and Barbuda)
|Merger of||Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, Progressive Labour Movement, United National Democratic Party|
|Colours||Blue and gold|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
Antigua and Barbuda
The United Progressive Party is a political party in Antigua and Barbuda. Led by Baldwin Spencer, it was the governing party from 2004 to 2014. It has been in opposition since the 2014 election.
The United Progressive Party was formed in 1992 through a merger of three parties, namely the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, the Progressive Labour Movement and the United National Democratic Party. Each party was in opposition to the Antigua Labour Party government. Baldwin Spencer was chosen to lead the new party.
At the 1994 general election, the party won 43.7 per cent of the vote and five seats in the House of Representatives. It became the largest opposition party. The UPP lost one seat to the Antigua Labour Party at the 1999 general election, despite increasing its vote to 44.5 per cent, after which it claimed fraud.
At the 24 March 2004 general election, the UPP won government with 55.3 per cent of the popular vote and 12 out of 17 seats. Baldwin Spencer became the first Prime Minister from outside the Antigua Labour Party in its history as an independent state. The Antigua Labour Party won four seats and 41.8 per cent of the vote, while the remaining seat was won by Trevor Walker of the UPP-aligned Barbuda People's Movement at a by-election to break a tied vote in Barbuda at the general election.
The UPP campaigned in 2004 under the slogan "Government in the Sunshine" on an anti-corruption platform. Since the election, the UPP have pursued their anti-corruption aims by passing a trio of government legislation: the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the Integrity in Public Life Act.
Though the UPP won the 2009 general election with 51.1 per cent of the vote and nine seats against eight for other parties, a judge nullified three elections to individual seats won by the UPP, including the Prime Minister's seat, due to a breach of electoral law. This judgement was subsequently over-ruled by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.