Count me out of any conspiracy to oust Opposition Leader Mia Mottley from the leadership of the Barbados Labour Party.
St Michael East MP Trevor Prescod issued this stern warning today to those persons said to be planning a palace coup against the St Michael North East MP.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY the outspoken parliamentarian said while he could not vouch for the veracity of statements linking some BLP members with plans to replace Mottley, he wanted to make it clear he would not join any such rebellion.
“ What I can say is if they [the rumours]are true and if there is any attempt to stage a coup within the institution and displace Mottley I would then have to make a decision. I am already clear in my mind that if such a move is taken, I would not have to delay 24 hours because I would never be part of any institution which continues to behave in that conspiratorial manner,” Prescod asserted.
“ I can guarantee anyone that I would not be part of any team in the BLP who would set about to stage a coup to replace Mottley. I certainly would not be a part of that team that would constitute any new body led by any new person in the institution at present.”
The BLP has been rocked by a bitter internal tussle surrounding the stewardship of Christ Church West MP Dr Maria Agard, who has been at odds with both the branch and party executives.
The situation has turned ugly, leading former BLP general secretary George Griffith to warn last week that the situation was becoming “increasingly embarrassing” and was “a sad reflection” on the party which had “an outstanding tradition of settling all issues, big and small, in a very dignified manner.”
BLP MP George Payne has also warned Mottley that her actions could not only affect Agard’s standing as a member of parliament, but also jeopardize the BLP’s success in the next polls and plunge the party into a “constitutional crisis”.
Payne’s warnings came in a November 5 letter in response to a letter sent the previous day by Mottley to the embattled Agard, regarding a November 4 meeting that was scheduled to be held to bring about “healing”.
But Prescod argued that the issue was no longer about Dr Agard but of “latent forces with intentions not really known to me or even the general public” that want to replace Mottley as leader.
“I believe there will always be people who have dreams of playing important roles in an institution. There will always
be people who try to play roles they do not have the capacity to carry out in any meaningful way. There are many people with inflated egos who believe that they are leaders even though they do not enjoy the support or confidence of the people. Then they are others who believe that without them the world would come to
an end. I have come across many of these people in Barbadian politics over the years,” Prescod contended. Prescod charged that there were some people who not only see themselves as kingmakers, but sometimes
saw themselves as probably the king too. He also took issue with a suggestion from a senior
member of parliament that the executive of Christ Church West branch ought to resign.
“The executive is not there as a result of a selection process, it is there as a consequence of being elected. It represents over 1 000 members in some cases,” the St Michael East MP said.
Mottley was elected BLP leader for the second time in February 2013 after former Prime Minister Owen Arthur led the party to its second successive general election defeat.
She was first elected in 2008 after Arthur stepped down soon after his first defeat. She was forced out more than two years later in October 2010 and replaced by Arthur, but pledged to remain committed to the party even after accusing it of engaging in a kangaroo court to oust her.
One longstanding party member has contended that “power hungry” members in the party want to unseat Mottley again.
“ I have been around the BLP from the by-election with Dr Clyde Mascoll of the Democratic Labour Party and Mark Williams of the BLP and I thought it was a great party. However, this conspiracy has turned me off. It is definitely a conspiracy to get rid of Mottley again and the same individuals are at it again. I know who is the mastermind behind this conspiracy,” said this person who requested anonymity because he did now want to be engaged in a public debate over the issue.
The impasse in the Christ Church West constituency first made headlines on September 20 when the election for a new executive was cancelled by Mottley after several members of the constituency claimed their names were excluded from the list of party members in the constituency.
At a subsequent meeting of the branch a new executive body was elected but Dr Agard said she would not work with the body.
She also failed to show up for the party’s recent annual conference at the Christ Church Foundation School or a special meeting of the executive called by Mottley at party headquarters.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Mottley failed to show up for a meeting last Wednesday at which Payne and St Michael North MP Ronald Toppin were expected to speak on Dr Agard’s behalf.
However, Executive Assistant to the Opposition Leader Patricia Parris told Barbados TODAY that her boss did not snub Dr Agard and had written indicating she was unable to attend because of other engagements.
Mottley could not be reached for comment.