The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is ready to turn up the heat on the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in St Peter.
Addressing a branch meeting in the rural constituency last night, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart expressed confidence that the ruling party would claim the seat in the next general election, which is constitutionally due in 2018.
St Peter has long been a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) stronghold, held by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur for the past three decades. However, he currently sits as an Independent in the House of Assembly following his resignation from the BLP in July 2014.
Hotelier and former president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Colin Jordan will contest the seat for the BLP in the next general election. He is expected to go up against lawyer and former teacher Dave Cumberbatch for the DLP.
“I promise you this, if the information that is available to me is correct, there are going to be two new candidates in this constituency at the next election, and the successful candidate for St Peter in the next election will be the Democratic
Labour Party’s candidate,” Stuart said to applause.
“It is time that the Democratic Labour Party establishes a serious and enduring presence here in the constituency of St Peter, and we are going to see to that in the next election,” he added.
Stuart said the DLP was committed to going into the northern parish “over the next few months” leading up to the next general election “because we want to establish a more permanent presence in the constituency of St Peter.
“We intend to win St Peter in the next general election. So if you are going to do that, you have to be well informed so that when you go out there and hear the discussions, you can counter them and defend the Democratic Labour Party stoutly and creatively and convincingly so that the reputation of the party is securely protected,” he added.
Recalling that it was the DLP that led the country to Independence in 1966, Stuart said in the first general elections ten years prior, the DLP only secured four seats.
“So we committed ourselves in 1961 in our manifesto to carry Barbados to Independence and we fought for it,” said Stuart, adding that there were many groups who thought that Barbados should not have become an independent nation.