Prime Minister Freundel Stuart making a point during a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) joint branch meeting at the Lester Vaughan Secondary School on Sunday night.
It has been more than a week since the Parliament automatically dissolved and many have been speculating about when the General Election will be called, but Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is still holding the date close to his chest, saying only that it will take place within the 90-day period prescribed by the Constitution.
Furthermore, as he closed a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) joint branch meeting at the Lester Vaughan Secondary School on Sunday night, he assured all in earshot that they would be hearing from him and the other DLP candidates a lot more over the next few weeks. Those comments came just moments after the Prime Minister contended that his party is not fighting to stay in Government, rather, he said they are “fighting for Barbados”.
“The upcoming battle in Barbados… the upcoming election is not simply about voting for this candidate or that one, we are trying to save Barbados,” he maintained.
During a wide ranging address which lasted just over an hour, Stuart touched on the recent dissolution of Parliament, acknowledging that some “experts” have been commenting on the fact that the disbandment was not done deliberately as has traditionally been the case, but by “an influxion of time”. He said while there have been complaints that such had never happened before, that reality does not make it a bad thing.
“That’s how history is made. History is not made by things happening the same way all the time; history is made by doing things differently. It makes no sense saying this is the first time in the history of Barbados there is a secondary school in St. Thomas named Lester Vaughan Secondary School; that is how history is made. So Parliament stands dissolved and we have 90 days within which to have a general election in this country,” he stated.
He explained that in keeping with Section 36 of the Representation of the People’s Act, once he announces a date for nominations, Barbadians will go to the polls in not fewer than 14, and not more than 21 days later. His comments came as he reiterated that everything regarding the pending poll will be done in accordance with the law.
“I am a lawyer of 34 years experience, I am one of Her Majesty’s Counsels, I sit on Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London and therefore I have no vested interest in not prescribing to the rule of law,” he said.
PM Stuart continued, “The fortune tellers, the obeah men, the practitioners out there of political witchcraft they’ve all been having a field day trying to say when the election can be and when it cannot be and so on, let me assure you the members of the Democratic Labour Party and the people of the country, we are going to have an election in Barbados in accordance with the constitution of Barbados within the 90-day period prescribed by the Constitution.”
He went on to say that he knows there are critics who have been busy painting a picture of widespread dissatisfaction with his Government, but the political leader called on supporters to understand their “obligation to shut that noise out”.
“The same voices every day, the same voices; the voices are not increasing; saying the same things and trying to give the impression that all of Barbados is dissatisfied with the Democratic Labour Party and cannot wait to see us out of office… When you are being badgered and bullied and blackmailed by this recurring set of voices, remember that there are thousands of people in Barbados who are saying nothing and silence is a way of speaking too,” he said.
PM Stuart warned, “Don’t let the noise confuse you… they embellish their stories to create their own impressions, don’t be misled.” (JRT)