A new political party has swept an election held in the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat.

The People's Democratic Movement won seven of nine seats in the Legislative Assembly. Artist and former journalist Donaldson Romeo was being sworn in as the new premier on Friday. He's called for more jobs, housing and transparency, and exploration of geothermal power.

Government-run ZJB-Radio Montserrat said preliminary results show Romeo's party secured 50 percent of votes compared with 35 percent obtained by the former ruling Movement for Change and Prosperity.

The Elections Commission says 71 percent of the 3,866 registered voters participated in Thursday's election.

Montserrat saw about half of its 12,000 inhabitants leave after the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted in 1997 and killed 19 people, burying much of the British territory in ash.