If one of this island’s newest political groupings gets its way, both Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley would be out of this country’s legislature for good.
In fact, all 30 incumbent Members of Parliament be out of the House of Assembly.
The three-party coalition – comprising the Bajan Free Party (BFP), Kingdom Government Party (KGP) and People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) – said this afternoon it would be contesting all 30 seats in the upcoming general election, constitutionally due by June, in its quest to see the backs of the current political representatives.
BFP leader Alex Mitchell – who heads the coalition – told Barbados TODAY they had no intention of giving up their campaign which started back in 2013 to get both the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the main Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) out of the legislature.
“We ran in 2013 and we are going to keep running until we remove the Government. The agenda is the rule of law, putting everything back in place . . . our history . . . and stopping all of this fighting across the country over ownership of land. There is a lot of crime and corruption that has to be cleaned up. My thing is to see all 30 parliamentarians removed, all of them,” said Mitchell, whose party was founded in October 2012.
Mitchell, a former member of the United States military, promised that if his coalition were elected to office, the first order of business would be to bring relief to citizens who are owed tax returns, dating back to 2014.
“The first thing that would happen is that all those tax returns that people did not get . . . . If they didn’t get tax returns from 2014, . . . 2014 [refunds] would go out. Tax credit for women with children, that would go out for 2014. Once everybody is paid for 2014, then automatically 2015 would go out. Then 2016 would go out, so that they can feel some relief . . . . So that they can catch up on their water bills, their light bills, their land tax bills, their mortgage, whatever bills they have,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Asked where the money would come from to honour the tax refunds, he identified the commercial banks as the ready source.
“The money is already there. There is more than $24 billion in the banks in Barbados that cannot even move because there are no people qualified to get the loans because of [not having] clear titles that would get everything moving,” Mitchell said.
He further suggested that “if you have the former Central Bank Governor DeLisle Worrell not wanting to print $50 million a month to pay the Government workers . . . but yet you remove him and you print $150 million . . . you could have printed the same $150 million [and] give the people their money”.
He also blamed the Stuart-led DLP and Mottley-led BLP for the current crime situation facing the country, particularly as it relates to guns and drugs.
“Right now there are a lot of people that are being arrested for very small things that really have no reason to be arrested for,” he said, while suggesting that jail should be a last resort.
He also promised Barbadians that a coalition Government would keep out the International Monetary Fund and help to put the island in a position where it did not have to rely on foreign help.
He promised that there would be reform “to put back education to a place where people can have self-worth, so they would be able to understand they own Barbados”.
Meanwhile, KGP leader Steve Hunte is focused on justice, rule of law, politics and economics.
Hunte, who refers to himself as ‘The Sheriff’, said his aim was to make Barbados the pearl of the Caribbean.
“The problem that we have in Barbados is the ‘p’ and the ‘l’ of the word pearl. Politics and the politicians, the law and the lawyers. That’s the problem we have. That’s what causing all this unrest in Barbados. Social unrest, civil unrest, political unrest [and] uncertainty in this nation,” the KGP head said.
He also pledged to speed up the pace at which the country was developing.
“I want to change that speed. That speed has been kilometres per hour, which is an abbreviation. Kilometres per hour means knowledgeable, manageable, percentage of human resource. But I want to move that to MPH, which is the manageable percentage of human resource,” Hunte added. (EJ)