A juice maker, a hairdresser, a building contractor and the owner of a photography business are among nine “quality” candidates announced today by the Grenville Phillips 11-led Solutions Barbados to contest the next general election constitutionally due here within the next 12 months.
While stressing that there were no merchants involved, Phillips, who was harshly criticized following his initial announcement last year of a business people only political grouping, told Barbados TODAY tonight he was very confident that Barbadians would throw their support behind the little-known team, which also includes two computer specialists.
“These are quality people; really good people who have been well trained in what they are doing and that training allows them to manage the national economy,” said Phillips, who is himself a structural engineer of 25 years experience.
While boasting that the majority of the nine candidates have like years of professional experience, Phillips further suggested that his party could provide the right fix for Barbados’ worrying economic problems.
“Anyone who has been able to maintain a business in this economic environment, without Government assistance, has done well,” he said when questioned about his team’s ability to respond to address the ecnomic issues of the day, adding that “we have decided to run because we cannot watch our country decline and simply watch from the sidelines.
“We are also not prepared to leave our national debt to our children,” Phillips stressed.
He is joined on the Solutions Barbados team by Benjamin Niles, a building contractor of 25 years of experience; Andrew Banfield, a computer software specialist of 25 years of experience; Robert Toussaint, a juice manufacturer of 25 years experience; Ronald Lorde, a businessman of 21 years experience; Julie Chalbaud, a photography businesswoman of 20 years experience; Angela Edey, a hair specialist of 33 years experience; Cherone Martindale, an administrator of 16 years experience and Andre Griffith, a computer specialist of 13 years experience.
However, following a retreat held by the political grouping at the weekend, Phillips admitted that so far the party had only been able to settle on representatives for St George North, St George South, St Philip West, St Philip South, St John and St James North.
He also revealed that while the plan had been to announce the slate of 30 candidates in three batches of ten, one of the initial ten had apparently developed cold feet and backed out of the race ahead of today’s announcement.
However, Phillips expects to be in a position to announce the party’s full slate of 30 candidates within the next two weeks, including the composition of its shadow cabinet.
Solutions Barbados is one of three recently formed political groupings seeking to reshape the political landscape dominated by the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
The other two are the United Progressive Party (UPP) led by former BLP senator Lynette Eastmond and the Barbados Integrity Movement led by Neil Holder.