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No snap poll

Chris Gollop

No snap poll

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THERE?WILL?be no snap election in Barbados.
That’s the word from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who said that while the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) should see the outcome of the January 20 St John by-election as a clear indication of what would happen should a general election be called, he had no intention of calling a national vote any time soon.
The Prime Minister made this clear as he addressed thousands attending the campaign launch meeting of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the Gall Hill Community Centre on Thursday night in support of candidate Mara Thompson.
He said that if and when the DLP called a general election, the 20-10 majority would be increased. To this end, he named Parliamentary Secretary Irene Sandiford-Garner as being a sure winner over BLP chairman George Payne in the St Andrew riding next time around.
But don’t expect a general election anytime soon.
The Prime Minister also said there were people whispering in his ears, “catch the people when they are down and call the elections”.
“But this whole idea of taking advantage of people when they are grieving . . . does not appeal to Freundel Stuart..
“I did not pursue short cuts when I was a schoolboy, as a university student, as a lawyer, and I am not in politics to trick the people of Barbados,” he said.
After recalling how former Prime Minister Errol Barrow respected the five-year mandates given the DLP in general elections, Stuart said: “I am not, as Prime Minister of Barbados and certainly have never been as a politician, of the view that politics is about symbolic manipulation to catch the people when they are offguard for my own political survival.
“My survival must be based on the honesty with which I deal with the people,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, the BLP had installed Owen Arthur at the expense of former Opposition Leader Mia Mottley because they expected that with the “unfortunate death” of former Prime Minister David Thompson, a general election would automatically follow.