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Owen's warning to Freundel

John Sealy,

Added 28 January 2013

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart may end up with a “constitutional crisis” on his hands if he does not call a general election soon. Opposition Leader Owen Arthur issued this warning during a Press conference his Barbados Labour Party held at its headquarters on Roebuck Street, St Michael last Saturday. Arthur, who reported that the BLP was now fine-tuning its 2013 manifesto, complained that even though the Democratic Labour Party had entered a sixth year in office, “there is no clarity as to when an election is going to be called”. The failure to call an election “is assuming the dimensions of a moral issue as well . . . [and] it could trigger a constitutional crisis in Barbados if certain matters are not resolved”, he told reporters during a briefing attended by former ministers Mia Mottley, Dale Marshall and Clyde Mascoll. Arthur said it was clear that elections at the earliest could only now be called in mid-February and if it went to the point where Parliament was dissolved, “then the earliest an election can be called is early March”. He said the Constitution of Barbados required that the Estimates of Government’s Revenue and Expenditure be passed by Parliament by the end of March and if an election was called at a time that did not enable that process to be put in place, then the ability of Government to pay its employees could be compromised. “That could become a very serious constitutional issue,” he declared. “I hope that we don’t go to that fiscal cliff and that good sense and good politics prevail.” johnsealy@nationnews.com

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