Cabinet Minister Dr David Estwick’s declaration that he was ready and prepared to replace Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as party and country leader has been mocked by a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stalwart.
Former trade unionist Robert Bobby Morris was particularly scoffing as he dismissed the idea of Estwick as Prime Minister with derisive laughter.
“Is Estwick presenting himself as a leader?” Morris asked Barbados TODAY when asked to comment on the development.
“How can I make any comment that is worthwhile? It is foolishness to tell the truth. Who went and put a microphone in his face?”
Following publication of an opinion poll in the Sunday Sun which showed support for Stuart and the DLP at an all-time low, Estwick Monday publicly declared his interest in filling Stuart’s shoes at both the party and prime ministerial levels.
“I will say this: If Freundel Stuart steps away from the leadership of the DLP I will stand to lead it,” he told Barbados TODAY in an exclusive interview, in which he contended that there was simply no one better to take over the leadership reins.
The opinionated minister touted his Cabinet experience, listing the various ministries he has headed during the DLP’s two terms.
He also boasted that he was the drawing card on DLP platforms during the 2008 and 2013 general elections.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Philip Greaves was not as deriding as Morris in his reaction to the announcement.
However, he said Estwick should concentrate on retaining his St Philip West seat.
In the opinion poll conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) on behalf of the Nation newspaper, Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley emerged as the number one choice for Prime Minister with 52 per cent support, followed by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur with 18 per cent, and Stuart with eight per cent –– one point better than Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.
It also suggested that the Mottley-led BLP was on course for a landslide victory in the next election, with support for both Stuart and his ruling DLP said to be at an all-time low of 11 per cent, compared to 51 per cent for the BLP, while the remainder was undecided.
However, Morris roundly dismissed the survey, contending it was not scientific.
“I believe that the districts that were chosen were strategically chosen to get a result. It is nonsensical to say that Stuart can only get eight per cent of support of respondents. The poll does not touch base with reality at any point at all,” the former Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Central told Barbados TODAY.
He hinted that the pollster Peter Wickham had deliberately selected districts with strong BLP supported in order to get that result.
Sir Philip on the other hand, chose not to condemn the survey, stating instead there were times when polls suggested that a party would lose an election, only for that party to make a comeback and win.
“Polls are polls. No poll can tell you for sure how many seats a party will win,” the DLP stalwart said.
“You cannot go into an election believing that you cannot win. You should always enter believing that you can win.”
The survey found that satisfaction with the DLP Government was at 3.3 out of ten, compared to 5.3 for the BLP.