Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is confident of his party regaining the Government in next election.
Speaking at the Democratic Labour Party’s St. Michael South East meeting yesterday, in a weekend of activities to introduce new candidate Patrick Tannis, the PM said he believed the party’s record spoke for itself.
Based on the reception of Tannis in the constituency, Stuart said he was sure that the candidate would secure the seat for the party in the upcoming elections.
“An election will have to be called in Barbados sooner or later and when that election is called we will have to view it at two levels – it is going to be a contest between candidates in this constituency and of course in every other constituency and it is going to be a contest between two parties, and of course it is going to be a contest of two visions of the future.”
In the fight for St. Michael South East, he told the party faithful and others attending the meeting that Barbados Labour Party candidate Santia Bradshaw, would be “beaten with many stripes”.
The PM advised Tannis though not to give heed to what others in the BLP said about him. He said that was why the Opposition did not enjoy his “silence” because he gave “no currency to their wickedness”.
“We have no fear about the candidate to candidate contest. The party to party contest, we have no fear about that either. In fact, as Hammie Lashley said to you tonight; as Patrick Tannis said to you tonight; as Undene Whittaker said to you tonight, and as we all know, we are members of the greatest political party in Barbados,” he declared to loud support.
Although the BLP had claimed that the country was in dire straits, he said that the four years were proving differently. In the economic crisis, he stated that not only had the private sector, the unions and government been able to work together, but had been able to keep unemployment at around 11 per cent, where some other countries had figures in the high teens and 20s.
“We have been hearing every year for the past four years that this country is teetering on the brink. Well this must be a very broad brink that we ain’t fall over yet.”
The Government leader stated: “What we have done over the last four years in this crisis, makes us the party of natural choice in Barbados. I am not going to stand here and tell you there are not households in Barbados that are feeling pain; but in the best of times, when the land is flowing with milk and honey, there are households that are feeling pain as well. There is nothing unusual about that. That is a work in progress and we have to commit ourselves to alleviating poverty where it exists. That has always been a commitment of the Barbados Labour Party.
“But what we were able to achieve over the last four years in the heat of the worst crisis the world has seen over the last 100 years, qualifies us for the automatic confidence of the people of Barbados. We have a story to tell and we will tell it.”
He pointed to the introduction of free bus fares for school children, the doubling of numbers in tertiary education and the summer camps as evidence of the work the party has done. (LB)