Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Dr Maria Agard has been explaining her recent absence from the political scene.
When contacted by Barbados TODAY late Saturday, Agard, who has been battling an unspecified illness, confirmed that she has been receiving medical treatment abroad since February 14.
However, she did not provide details.
The former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) member, who was ousted from the Mia Mottley-led Opposition back in November 2015, currently sits as an independent in the House of Assembly.
Even in her absence, the Christ Church West representative, who was elected to Parliament in 2013, continues to be factored into the political mix, though she is yet to confirm her participation in the next general elections, which are constitutionally due within the next 12 months.
Earlier this week, political scientist Dr George Belle suggested to Barbados TODAY that Agard should join forces with the Opposition in a bid to oust the Stuart administration from office, while General Secretary of the ruling Democratic Labour Party George Pilgrim told reporters on Thursday he would gladly welcome her into the DLP fold.
The ruling party currently commands 16 of the 30 seats in Parliament, with the BLP controlling 12.
In recent weeks, speculation has also been rife over the political future of the other independent member of the House — former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who left the BLP in 2014.
However, with the Government operating on a deficit and the Barbados dollar currently under threat, Arthur has suggested that fixing the economy is far more pressing than any election.