PM on two months’ sick leave
PRIME MINISTER DAVID THOMPSON will be taking two months leave from his national responsibilities and could be heading for major surgery.
During a national broadcast from Government Headquarters, Thompson said that during the past few weeks he had undergone “observation, tests and medication”.
He added his doctors placed him on a necessary, rigourous, dietary regime that had caused him to lose weight.
“I have not completed my regime of treatment and therefore there is nothing significant to report at this time. Shortly, an evaluation will take place to determine if I need surgery. It may be a complex and serious procedure,” he noted.
Thompson acknowledged he had been operating at a reduced pace and said he did not think it was fair for him to ask Barbados to move at his reduced pace. He said it would be a few weeks before “God willing” he was able to discharge his functions in a manner that was required in the circumstances.
“Accordingly, I am requesting the nation’s forbearance as I have decided to take two months leave from my duties as Prime Minister. This time will be spent outside of Barbados,” he indicated.
Thompson said Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart would naturally act as Prime Minister throughout his absence and he was devolving on him the authority to make whatever decisions he deemed necessary “to keep the social and economic ship of state on even keel”.
He expressed confidence in Stuart, noting he had been carrying out the duties of Prime Minister of Barbados on several occasions during the past two years and had performed with distinction. He added
Stuart had lived up to the great expectations Barbados always had of him.
“He certainly has my undisputed confidence and respect and that of the entire Cabinet and the members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament,” Thompson stressed.
Again extolling Stuart’s virtues, Thompson said that as Attorney-General he commanded the greatest admiration and reverence of the legal fraternity.
He also paid homage to Barbados’ Public Service, noting it had a reputation for dedication to service “throughout the changing times”.
“I have every reason to believe that, in these circumstances, my absence from this country will have minimal effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of government institutions,” Thompson said.
Describing the situation as one of the most trying periods of his life and a very testing one for his family, Thompson called on Barbadians to rally around the causes for which he had fought throughout his career as a youth leader, lawyer and political leader.
“These causes can be summed up in the simple desire to take Barbados to the next level of development,” he said.
Thompson stated he would be leaving Barbados in a “matter of hours” and eagerly looked forward, with the help of God and Barbadians’ support and prayers, to be returning to his post in the near future.
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