- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (AP) - Antigua’s ruling party will stay in power, but with a narrower margin in parliament, preliminary results showed Friday following an election shadowed by the alleged financial scandal involving R. Allen Stanford.

The United Progressive Party won at least 10 of the 17 seats in parliament of Antigua and Barbuda, with one seat still undecided, the Electoral Commission reported.

Before the election, the UPP of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer had 12 seats.

Final results were expected later Friday. Ballots were still being tabulated in the race between Errol Cort, the country’s finance minister, and Lester Bird, the former prime minister who helped Stanford establish his business empire in the twin-island Caribbean nation.

Cort also had ties to Stanford: His law firm represented the businessman, who has U.S. and Antiguan citizenship, though Cort has said that he had no personal involvement with the billionaire while he served in government.

The country has been struggling in recent weeks to deal with the fallout of U.S. allegations that Stanford operated a massive Ponzi scheme through his Antiguan-based offshore bank.

Spencer’s government has seized some of Stanford’s assets in hopes of keeping the businesses operating and prevent them from being seized to compensate investors.

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