|Barbados PM Freundel Stuart (left) and opposition leader Owen Arthur. |
Both are confident of winning the Feb. 21 election
Both the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) have nominated candidates to contest all 30 seats in the Barbados parliament.
In a festive atmosphere and surrounded by party supporters, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart filed his papers at the Graydon Sealy Secondary School where he was warmly greeted by students.
After completing the process, Stuart, the parliamentary representative for the St. Michael South constituency, warned that the DLP’s campaign would now move into high gear as it seeks another five year term in office.
“The DLP’s case for re-election will be put as of tonight with all the vigour, all the clarity, with all the enthusiasm at our command because we think that we have a record of which we are justly proud and we have a vision for the future that we feel strongly about and that we can with confidence put the people of Barbados.”
Stuart also dismissed claims of a swing of support towards his opponent Noel Lynch of the BLP, whom he defeated in the 2008 general election.
“When I cease to be Prime Minister 10 years from now he will win the seat up here and I have no problem with that, “the Prime Minister said.
But an upbeat Lynch told reporters he’s confident of unseating the country’s leader.
“The people of St. Michael South have already made up their minds like most of the people of Barbados. We need to put an end to a failed government in this country and the people have spoken and they are going to speak loudly on February 21.”
In the northern parish of St. Peter, BLP leader and former prime minister Owen Arthur, accompanied by family, supporters and his party colleagues, filed his papers to contest his ninth general election.
He later told reporters he is ready for the poll and to represent the constituency of St. Peter as well as Barbados.
“I’m confident not only in relation to my constituents in St. Peter but I am confident that this will be a victory for the Barbados Labour Party,” said Arthur, who in 2008 led the then ruling BLP into defeat.
Arthur said that the election is a serious undertaking and he pledged to give Barbadians a clear programme on how his BLP intends to return the ailing economy to prosperity in its manifesto soon to be released.
“Our manifesto went through four drafts and we have been using our public meetings, our focused group meetings, our town hall meetings to bounce things off the people. It’s been a collaborative effort reflecting the whole cross section of the Barbados Labour Party family
“What you will find in the manifesto is no wish listing from our party but peoples’ perspective as to what they want their government to do,” he added.
Arthur’s opponent and relative Haynesley Benn of the DLP told reporters he will deliver the constituency to the DLP.
“I have a big fish to fry not the biggest this time. He (Arthur) was the biggest last time. The fish has been reduced in size and is able to hold into my pan. I have this fish under control. (CMC Report)