Prime Minister Freundel Stuart reflecting on the massive defeat. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)
“I take full responsibility for the defeat.”
These were the words of a clearly deflated Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as he pondered the overwhelming defeat of his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the polls yesterday.
Standing virtually alone on stage at the DLP’s George Street headquarters in the early hours of this morning, a clearly dejected Stuart accepted blame for the crushing loss in which not one DLP member retained a seat.
Speaking in a low tone and with none of the defeated DLP candidates in sight, Stuart maintained his party had put up a fight, but he conceded: “Those performances were not outstanding enough if one is to draw any conclusions from the results one has heard so far.
“To persuade the electorate that the Democratic Labour Party should be re-elected to office or that any of its candidates should be re-elected to the House of Assembly, that is the nature of politics,” he added.
In apparent reference to his being left alone to face the music of defeat hours after, in virtually empty party headquarters, he said: “There is an old feature . . . that in campaigning whenever there is success, success is shared by all those who succeed and by those with whom they are associated. But when there is failure, failure points to one man.”
However, he thanked the members of his party who had faced the polls for the “courage” they had shown in making themselves available to contest seats on behalf of the DLP and for their “outstanding performances throughout the campaign”.
Learn to cope
He told the media: “You can sometimes fail and we have to learn how to cope with both victory and defeat.”
Stuart, 67, also said it was the end of his political career as a candidate, saying he had not planned to contest further elections, even before yesterday’s loss. He added, however, that he would still be “available to the party that has done so much for me, to participate in the rebuilding process”. (GC)