It will take a miracle for the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to retain power in the next general election following Saturday’s March of Disgust organized by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), according to political strategist Reudon Eversley.
Eversley said due to the success of the protest, with an estimated 10,000 people turning up to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the current administration, only God could save the DLP now.
“With less than a year to go before general election, I think it would require God to come out of heaven to reverse the situation for the DLP. I do not see any miracles occurring under Stuart’s uninspiring, lacklustre and ineffective leadership” the strategist and writer opined.
The BLP has already said Saturday’s protest was just the beginning and there was a lot more pressure to come on Stuart to call an early poll.
Eversley said BLP leader Mia Mottley would have been buoyed by the turnout, which would serve as a fillip for her political career.
“I cannot say that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has to sit up and think, but I think it was a very strong statement as to how Barbadians feel about the current state of affairs in the country. In many ways Saturday’s march can be considered a turning point for Mottley’s leadership.”
Despite being returned as BLP leader after former Prime Minister Owen Arthur stepped down for the second time following his election defeat in 2013 – Arthur had quit after the 2008 election loss and was replaced by Mottley, before a palace coup returned Arthur to the helm of the party in 2010 – Mottley has found it difficult to shake off speculation about her tenure.
In fact, there had been suggestions that a faction led by Arthur sympathizer George Payne would lead another coup against the BLP leader.
However, Payne, who was elected unopposed as BLP Chairman last October, came out strongly in Mottley’s support at Saturday’s rally, while calling on Arthur, who has made no secret of his dislike for Mottley, to “leave the political leader of the Barbados Labour Party alone”.
This has prompted Eversley to conclude that Mottley’s problems were behind her and the BLP was settled.
“Any lingering suspicion that there would be an undermining of Mottley’s leadership has been effectively put aside with Payne’s firm declaration of support for Mottley. Payne’s statement is a very significant statement,” he stressed.
Eversley said the BLP had been effective in mobilizing support for the march, which he described as a “tremendous success”, while arguing that people who had not participated for fear of victimization would be encouraged to take part the next time.
It was also the turnout that led political scientist Dr George Belle to conclude that the BLP had to be at the centre of any resistance to the policies of the Stuart administration.
“There are some people that were suggesting that we need to create some kind of consensus to allow the Government to act in a way that will be favourable to the recovery of the economy. The real point is that you are not going to be able to have an alternative Government or change of Government if the BLP is not the core of what will be the alternative Government and the core of what will bring about the decline of the regime’s capacity to survive,” Belle told Barbados TODAY.
“The realpolitik is that this is what has to happen. There is no third party that is going to do that. Any attempt to divide the BLP will prolong the life of the Government to the extent that they want to stay as long as possible in relation to the constitutional distance that is given to them,” he added.