Latin America & Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda profile

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor-general

Prime minister: Gaston Browne

Gaston Browne took over as prime minister when his Labour Party won the general elections in June 2014.

The Antigua Labour Party (ALP) won 14 of 17 parliamentary seats, defeating the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP).

Mr Browne pledged to transform the financially crippled twin island nation into an "economic powerhouse" by attracting investment.

"The country is in dire straits and we must remain hopeful for a bright future," he said.

With national debt at almost 90% of GDP, the main challenges for the new government were reviving the 108-square mile (280-square kilometre) country's tourism-dependent economy.

Antigua struggled during the global recession while still recovering from the 2009 collapse of Allen Stanford's fraudulent Antigua-based financial empire.

The Texas financier helped fund the government and was the country's largest private employer until US authorities accused him of defrauding investors in his offshore bank.