Two of the country’s leading political scientists have ruled out the possibility of an early general election.
The Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) announced today that it was moving swiftly to clean the Register of Electors ahead of general elections which are constitutionally due in two years.
However, lecturer in Political Science at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies Dr Tennyson Joseph suggested that this should not be seen as a sign that elections were around the corner.
In fact, Joseph, who is head of the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work, told Barbados TODAY he saw no signs that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart would ring the bell any time soon, adding that he would not speculate any further on a possible date since the Barbadian leader was the only one who could make the call.
Joseph’s assessment was supported by pollster Peter Wickham who said that due to the economic situation, Stuart would likely delay the poll for as long as possible.
Wickham suggested that any thoughts of an early poll would have been tempered by the latest economic downgrade by Moody’s, although he hinted that the Prime Minister might be blind to the reality.
“It is ridiculous to think that we are constantly being downgraded and the Prime Minister seems to think that everything is [fine],” Wickham told Barbados TODAY this evening.
The EBC today gave its first public notice that close to 8,000 people had been removed from the 2015 Register of Electors.
A senior official said the 7,966 Barbadians deleted from the list had all died between January 1, 2013 and August 31 last year.
The official told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that when the list was published on January 31, 2016, there were 261,214 eligible voters. Now, with the latest “clean up”, the roll stands at 253,248.
The official also said the Commission would continue to ensure that the list was kept clean and updated.
The ECB notice published in the print media today contained all the names of those removed from the 2015 Register of Electors published on January 31, 2016. (EJ)