'A victory for consistency', is how one person described the outcome of the Falklands General Election, which saw five of the eight seats filled by candidates who served for four years on the previous Legislature. However, another person described the result as, 'Disappointing', adding that it was, 'A lost opportunity to bring in new blood to the Government'.
Only one member of the 1997-2001 Legislature, Sharon Halford, lost their seat. Mrs. Halford's 231 votes left in in 8th position overall, in the Stanley constituency.
The result of the General Election, fully vindicated the Poll of 40 voters, conducted by MERCOPRESS in Stanley, six months ago, when Michael Summers, John Birmingham and Janet Cheek were voted the 'Most Efficient' Councillors. In an unofficial Poll carried out three weeks ago, the same three Councillors came out on top once again. All three were re-elected on Thursday.
Only one newcomer in the Stanley Constituency, 29 year old Stephen Luxton, son of the former hard-line Councillor William Luxton, managed to take a seat from a resident Councillor. As a 9 year old boy he, with his parents, underwent the frightening experience of being deported from the Falklands by the Argentine Military Government in May 1982. His father was considered to be anti-Argentine, and a 'trouble-maker'. Speaking, after receiving the support of almost 50% of all those who voted, he said that he was ''very pleasantly surprised by the vote which he received.
With Britain engaging in talks with Spain on the sovereignty of the Gibraltar, Mr. Luxton was asked what repercussions this might have for the Falklands, in view of the long-standing Argentine sovereignty claim to the Islands? 'It worries me very seriously, I think we must keep a close watch on the situation', he said.
Michael Summers, not surprisingly, polled higher than all other candidates; 'Many people told me during the week that they would vote for me, based on my ability to represent the Falklands internationally'. Asked if the British Government's current policy of discussing the sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain held 'any fears for the Falklands', he said, 'No, I think the self-determination issue for the Falklands is very clear'.
Asked a similar question with respect to the Gibraltar sovereignty issue and if it could have possible repercussions for the Falklands, re-elected Councillor John Birmingham said, 'At this moment no, it is an entirely different situation, but there will be a strong show of support for the people of Gibraltar, from the Falklands'.
Richard Cockwell, now representin