Ministers Resign in Montserrat
Feb. 03, 2001
BRADES, Montserrat (AP) _ Two ministers have resigned over differences with Montserrat's chief minister, triggering new elections in the volcano-ravaged Caribbean island.
Communications minister Rupert Weekes and education and health minister Adelina Tuitt presented their resignations to Chief Minister David Brandt on Thursday. The local legislature was dissolved on Friday.
Both ministers recently distanced themselves from Brandt, accusing him of making decisions about a proposed new airport without consulting them.
Their resignations undermined Brandt's coalition government, which had a one-seat majority among the seven elected seats of the legislative council.
The British territory's constitution requires new elections within 90 days, though Brandt has not set an election date.
With the resignations, Brandt became only one of two remaining ministers in the Caribbean island's government.
The Soufriere Hills volcano, which began erupting in 1995, has forced the evacuation of the southern half of Montserrat. It has also closed the island's main airport, choking the flow of visitors to the tourism-dependent British territory.