Member of Parliament for St Lucy Denis Kellman is not about to criticize Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick for aspiring to be the next Prime Minister of Barbados.
In fact in defence of Estwick’s behaviour, Kellman suggests it is only natural for Estwick to want to fill Freundel Stuart’s shoes.
In an apparent attempt at damage control after Estwick publicly declared his readiness to replace Stuart as both leader of the ruling Democratic Labour Party and Prime Minister of Barbados, Kellman said:“You cannot question a person for having ambition.
“I always feel that any person who enters politics should have ambition because you do not know when you may be called upon to assume a higher office.”
The St Lucy MP further argued that “if the person has the ability and the support of his colleagues he could aspire to be a leader.
“I am glad we have so many people in the [DLP] that can assume the leadership of the party. It speaks well of the party,” he told Barbados TODAY in the wake of a public opinion poll which shows that both Stuart’s popularity and that of the incumbent DLP are at an all-time low.
The survey conducted by the Peter Wickham-led Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES)suggests that under Stuart’s leadership, the DLP currently enjoys only 11 per cent support, compared to 51 per cent for the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, which seems to be on course for a resounding victory in the next election although a significant portion of the electorate – 38 per cent — falls into the category of the “undecided”.
Immediately following the publication of the CADRES poll on Sunday, Estwick set about on Monday to publicly declare his interest in filling Stuart’s shoes.
“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.
Estwick also contended that there was simply no one better to take over the leadership reins.
“I have served this country as acting Prime Minister on several occasions; as Minister of Health, National Insurance and Social Security; Minister of Economic Affairs, Trade, Industry Commerce and Small Business Development; Minister of Agriculture, Food Fisheries and Water Resources Management.
“I have served as the Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Cabinet and as Chairman of the Infrastructure Committee of the Cabinet and at the party level, General Secretary,” he said, while arguing that his Cabinet experience and his relationship with the masses of Barbadians speak for themselves.
However, if the poll is to be believed, Estwick is the sixth choice of Barbadians for Prime Minister, behind the BLP’s Mia Mottley with 52 per cent support; former Prime Minister Owen Arthur with 18 per cent; Stuart with eight per cent; the DLP’s Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo (seven per cent) and Donville Inniss (six per cent).
In fact, the poll suggests that Estwick is tied with DLP colleague Richard Sealy with three per cent support in terms of who Barbadians want to lead them, ahead of Kellman with a 0.2 per cent approval rating.