36 women in the running
A record 132 people will be going after the 30 seats in Parliament on May 24.
This was the unofficial count following yesterday’s Nomination Day for the upcoming General Election, which will also be contested by a record 36 female candidates.
The numbers were a significant increase over the 68 candidates in both the February 2013 and January 2008 general elections.
Up to late last night, officials of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) could not give the official tally from yesterday’s process, which went from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the actual presentation and verification of nomination papers.
But what was clear was that both the major parties, the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party, had each filed a full slate of 30 candidates.
The Bees brought out placard-waving supporters adorned in red, while for the Dems it was a more subdued affair, even though in many instances its candidates had their band of supporters.
For newcomers Solutions Barbados, it would only be missing the poll in St Michael North West and St Peter, while the United Progressive Party was able to field 23 candidates.
On this occasion, voters will also have a choice of a number of minor parties on the ballot.
In four ridings, there will be six candidates facing off – St Michael North, St James Central, City of Bridgetown and St John – while a number of Independent candidates are in the mix, with Natalie Harewood in The City capturing much attention.
Randall Rouse, who has unsuccessfully contested the St Joseph seat under the banner of the DLP and the now defunct National Democratic Party, is trying once again, this time as an Independent, while Dr Leroy McClean, a long-standing DLP stalwart, is also running as an Independent in St John.
Yesterday’s filing of papers went without any major incident, although some candidates experienced a few hiccups, ranging from forgetting their receipts to discovering that some of their intended backers were not registered in the constituency.
But these minor matters were quickly rectified as candidates found the required number of official backers, while returning officers and election clerks were accommodating.
In Christ Church South, there was some mystery surrounding well known social activist Aaron “Buddy” Larrier, who turned up at the centre in Maxwell. He indicated he would be entering the race and was leaving to go and get his official backers.
Up to press time, it was unclear whether he ever made it back to complete the process. (ES)