A former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate is seeking to make a political comeback.
Having failed to secure the ruling party’s St Joseph nomination in the last general election after four consecutive political defeats – including three as the DLP’s representative – community worker Randall Rouse now says he is totally fed up with the Freundel Stuart-led DLP.
However, while Rouse is seemingly prepared to turn his back on the ‘Dems’ for good, he has equally made it clear that he is not about to cross over to the Opposition camp and join forces with the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which he accuses of engaging in “rum shop” politics.
During a press conference held at his constituency office in St Joseph, Rouse, who had entered elective politics back in 1994 as a member of the now defunct National Democratic Party before aligning himself with the DLP, announced plans to go it alone in the next election whenever it is called.
“Today, I officially make one of my most critical decisions to date. I have decided to contest the next election in St Joseph as an independent candidate,” he told reporters, adding that the move comes “after deep reflection on his vision for the rural constitution”.
Rouse went on to castigate Stuart’s DLP, which he represented on three occasions between 1999 and 2008 before he was replaced by Dennis Holder in 2013.
While saying he was totally frustrated with “its lack of communication with the public on public matters, lack of leadership, lack of clear explanations for some of the policy decisions taken [and] the apparent anti-worker stances taken”, Rouse added that he was especially taken aback by Government’s “total refusal to accept positive economic advice even from its own economic advisors on the economy”.
Rouse did not go into detail on these claims, but said his primary reason for going independent at this stage was as a result of the “totally poor representation” given by the BLP’s Dale Marshall.
In fact, he charged that Marshall’s representation was nothing short of “scandalous”.
Rouse, who was introduced into politics by the late NDP founder Sir Richie Haynes, sought to warn the BLP incumbent that “representation of a people is far more than providing alcoholic beverages and giving a broad smile.
“Representation to me means providing opportunities and solutions so persons can develop themselves socially and economically. It means lobbying to have services not available but needed taken care of,” he said.
Therefore, Rouse is promising that if elected he will lobby to ensure there’s better public transportation and a fully functional health care clinic for the people of St Joseph.
Even though he already has four defeats to his name, Rouse is adamant that this is his time to represent the people of St Joseph.
“The last two [defeats] were by small margins,” said the former DLP candidate, who Marshall defeated by 78 votes in 2003 and by 44 votes in 2008.
“During that period there were a lot of things that I could have done differently.
“On reflection I will correct them and . . . the little things that I ignored in last elections, I won’t be in this election,” he added.
The independent hopeful also believes his chances of winning are as good as any.
“The feeling that I am getting where ever I go in this country [is one of] frustration and that the next election will be like no other election that Barbados has ever faced and an election that will have a very low turn out ,” Rouse added.