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PM in charge

Sanka Price

PM in charge

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DON’T JUDGE Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on his silence on burning national issues to date. He is aware of what is happening and has his hands firmly on the steering wheel of state.
That is the defence of his Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler to growing calls for the Prime Minister to speak out publicly on the problems facing Barbadians daily.
But Sinckler said the Prime Minister would speak when he was ready.“Don’t take a six for a nine when it comes to Freundel Stuart.
Don’t take him for a fool because he is studying these issues. He likes to be very deliberate, he likes to study issues, and then he intervenes at the right time to do the right thing. And we are comfortable with that,” said Sinckler in a telephone interview on Thursday.
“Mr Stuart is extremely articulate and, of course, people know that he is a very bright individual. When Mr Stuart is ready to substantively address the public of Barbados on matters of national import, he will do so. 
“He might not do so in your timing, he might not do so in my timing, but I am sure that he will do so because I speak to him on a daily basis,” Sinckler added.
He said a number of initiatives that had been taken came through the Prime Minister’s intervention, though he had not been credited for them.
“He would call on the phone and say, ‘Chris, X and Y needs to be done’, or ‘I want you to look at X or Y’, and I would go and do it. It may come out that it is me that is doing it; he may not take the credit for it, but the originating call may have come from the Prime Minister, as has happened on several issues. 
“So I don’t think it is fair to just judge him on how many times he speaks or how many times he does a Press conference or something like that; he will do those things when the appointed time is right,” Sinckler stressed.
Quizzed for a response on the public’s perception that he was the choice of late Prime Minister David Thompson to lead the Government and not Stuart, Sinckler suggested he had no time for such distractions.
“I am a team player; it’s the Democratic Labour Party team. We have one leader at a time, not two or three . . . and that leader is Freundel Stuart.  
“And I’m more than happy to be a minister in his Cabinet.  I thank him for the opportunity to serve as Minister of Finance in this period.”
Sinckler added: “People say all kind of things. But at the end of the day, it’s what is important, and the task at hand is to get the Barbados economy back on track [and] get Barbadians benefiting; of course to ensure the DLP Government is returned to office and that we carry out the mandate which the public has given to us. 
“That is my central focus. The other things really are not of concern to me at this time.”