The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) says it already smells victory in Christ Church West in the next general election, even though the seat has long been regarded an Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) stronghold.
Addressing a DLP luncheon yesterday, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who is the DLP chairman, said despite never having won the southern riding, the DLP has been inching closer with each election, and “I think we got the closest on the last occasion.
“We are at a special moment now in the history of this constituency because over the last year . . . a number of volcanic events have occurred here in Christ Church West,” he said.
He went on to describe the BLP’s “uprooting” of its political representative for the area, Dr Maria Agard, as “the most intrepid and, shameless attempt at political assassination”.
Stuart also blasted Dr Agard’s replacement, Dr William Duguid, calling him a “political renegade”, who he said “had hypocritically returned feigning love for constituents” following Dr Agard’s expulsion.
In a naked attack on Dr Duguid, who had held the Christ Church West seat from 2003 to 2013 before migrating to Canada with his family, and had been succeeded by Dr Agard, the Prime Minister said Dr Duguid “had determined that as long as the Barbados Labour Party was not in government, politics was of no value to him”.
“I want to serve notice now that the time will come when we will have to put in perspective the political stewardship of the man who claims that he is going to be the candidate in this constituency in the next election.
“I hope he can withstand the scrutiny under which he will be put, because I am determined, and the Democratic Labour Party is determined, to ensure that after the votes are counted in the next election that [DLP candidate] Verla DePeiza is the Member of Parliament for Christ Church West.”
Suggesting that there was a lot to reveal in events leading to Dr Duguid becoming a candidate again, the Prime Minister said, “I don’t care how hard they try to paper over what has happened in Christ Church West, I am determined to ensure that the hypocrisy that has taken place here in Christ Church West on the part of the Barbados Labour Party is cruelly exposed”.
In support of her own candidacy, DePeiza, who is currently a Government senator, spoke of “a change of stage horses on the other side” in reference to the return of Dr Duguid, and reflected the DLP’s confidence of winning the seat in the next general elections.
“We have never won this seat, but we have never wanted it more that we want it now”, she said, and predicted a clean sweep of all five Christ Church parliamentary seats in the next poll.
“It is the plan of the Democratic Labour Party to increase our numbers next time and to have the whole of Christ Church standing before you as your MPs.”