Nation e-Edition

Mr Stuart and naming of election date

Mr Stuart and naming of election date

Tue, January 15, 2013 - 12:00 AM

WHILE POLITICAL hesitancy to announce the date for a new general election in Barbados continues to prevail, in Grenada, not only has parliament been dissolved, but Prime Minister Tilman Thomas has now named February 19 as the date when Grenadians will vote for a new 15-member House of Representatives.

Today marks precisely five years ago when an election took place here and resulted in a decisive defeat for then Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s three-term Barbados Labour Party (BLP) by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) for the 30-member House of Assembly under the leadership of David Thompson.

Having secured 20 of the seats, Thompson was sworn in as new Prime Minister the following day, January 16. As fate would have it, the dynamic first-time Prime Minister died from cancer on October 23, 2010, and a by-election for his St John’s constituency on January 20, 2011, was secured with a landslide victory by his widow, Mara. 

As Thompson’s successor, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was to overcome recurring media reports about internal dissension within his Cabinet. But he still had to cope with constant challenges to announce a date for new parliamentary elections, more so following two successive public opinion polls that pointed to the likely return to Government by the BLP under Arthur’s leadership.

However, rather than bow to pressures to announce the date, Stuart opted to project a public posture of being unfazed by the tactics of his opponents.

More recently, suggestions that he could announce the date to coincide with Errol Barrow Day, observed every year as a national holiday on January 21 in commemoration of the Father of Independence, have proved to be futile.

Then, following last week’s declared political strategy by the BLP to boycott sittings of Parliament until a date is announced, there has now emerged speculations that the Prime Minister could well disclose the date to coincide with next Monday’s celebrations.

As reported in our yesterday’s edition, three well known political scientists, while offering varying perspectives, shared the view that the Prime Minister may well have been outmanoeuvred by the BLP’s strategy to call the date before today.

Still, Mr Stuart remains stoic in his own timing, in accordance with the Constitution, for announcement of the date. 

For what it may be worth, politically, he seems to have the undivided support of his Cabinet and party decision-making colleagues for his stand in not genuflecting to Opposition pressures.

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Posted by collin green 1 year, 9 months ago
Remember when you stayed away from home all day as a child but was afraid to go home in the evening because you knew lashes was waiting for you at home.
some children were brave and faced the whipping head on while others cowered under the cellar until their parents got them

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Posted by J. Payne 1 year, 9 months ago
I wonder what our previous Governor-General would say about this "90 day" thing. After-all Sir Clifford was the longest serving Vice-Royal of modern day Barbados. What would he say about this?

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 1 year, 9 months ago
It was no mere coincidence when our late Prime Minister let it be known that, upon his passing, Mr. Stuart should assume the mantle of Prime Minister of Barbados. Mr. Stuart has the political acumen and mettle to lead Barbados through these unsettling times. For Mr. Stuart, it is country that comes first and not some insatiable lust for power. This was clearly demonstrated in the alleged " eager eleven" coup. Mr. Stuart didn't capitulate to "common school of thought" as was proffered by the referenced political scientists and "fire" the allegedly "disrespectful" DLP parliamentary members. Rather he put the country first by not submitting to the common fears of parochial men and dismantling his cabinet. "Decapitating" his so-called "threats" might have satisfied the political poodles but doing so would have unleashed the pit bulls of peril on our beloved Barbados. It is his courage in adversity and steadfastness in the storm that will lead Barbados to the shining and strong paradise that it is and always will be.

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