An uphill – BLP will ‘represent’ in St John
Opposition Leader Owen Arthur has acknowledged that his Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has an Everest to climb in the forthcoming by-election in St John.
Noting that it would have been improper to engage in politicking during a period of mourning for late Prime Minister and MP?David Thompson, Arthur told the DAILY?NATION the BLP?would accept the wishes of the people of St John, a traditional political fortress for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
“The Labour Party is a national institution and will have a presence in the St John by-election.
“We understand that St John has not been a happy hunting ground for the BLP, but we will respect the rights of the people of St John to be presented with a case, and we will present that case,” he said.
The former Prime Minister said that a few people had already expressed an interest, but no candidate was in place for the St John by-election which has to be held no later than February 23, three months after the passing of Thompson.
He added that Tyrone Power, who contested the riding in the last outing in 2008, would not be back.
“We will be represented and respect the sentiments in St John for sure.
“Obviously, to lose a representative like David Thompson in the pink of his youth will be very painful for the people of St John. We respect that and will in no [way] do anything to disrespect his memory, but we will compete with dignity and seriousness.
“There is a range of national issues the party plans to talk about and we will do in a dignified way.
“We are realistic. The party is 72 years old and we know both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” he said.
There has been speculation that Mara Thompson, the wife of the late Prime Minister, may contest the by-election, but Arthur would only say that that was a DLP?internal matter.
“I am not going to get involved in the affairs of the DLP. It is up to them to determine their own affairs and I leave it to them. That is not for me,” he said.
Arthur, 61, is expected today to announce the two new Opposition senators after Elizabeth Thompson and Arthur Holder tendered their resignations.
The former Prime Minister said the two senators would be chosen “commensurate with the economic challenge on hand”.
Arthur said it was important that the composition of both the Lower and?Upper Houses of Parliament reflected personnel equipped to deal with the economic crisis.
Inside sources are almost certain that one of the new senators will be economist Clyde Mascoll, a former Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.
Former Senator Tyrone Barker is back in the Opposition office as an economic researcher and statistician.