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Dems launch with bang

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

Dems launch with bang

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We too can party. That seemed to the response of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and its supporters as the DLP threw its fans a soca party Sunday night.

But partying aside, the faithful were warned that the May 24 elections would be a watershed event.

Twenty-four hours after the Barbados Labour Party turned Weymouth Playing Field red, a crowd of thousands, clad in the DLP’s trademark yellow and blue colours, transformed an area between the National Stadium and the Netball Stadium, in the constituency last held by Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley, into a sea of colour.

The popular artistes, though, had one message. Dem Now; Dem Again. Or as Scrilla screamed: “We sticking with them.”

And the crowd agreed. Holding the posters of their candidates aloft, the people jumped and wined and sang along to the popular calypsos. They cheered when candidate Ronald Jones joined Sanctuary on stage for his campaign song and they roared when he followed the singer’s exhortation to “juck, juck, juck”.

Then, the lights were dimmed and the candidates filed onto the stage. And as the lights were raised, the crowd roared their support.

But it was the arrival of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at 7:50 p.m. that drove the Dems into a frenzy.

He then took his place in the centre of the front row, flanked and backed by the other 29 candidates who will be going to the polls on May 24.

Master of ceremonies and the party’s campaign manager, Robert “Bobby” Morris, brought a note of sobriety to the proceedings.

“This is a watershed election. It’s like 1961 and 1986 all over again,” he declared.

“We are fighting to save the soul of Barbados. This is a very important election. We are up against some forces – the forces of the dynasty as opposed to the forces of the meritocracy,” the historian told the crowd that swelled as the night grew.

Early speakers included St Andrew candidate Irene Sandiford-Garner, who lambasted the BLP and Mottley. (HLE)