The leader of one of Barbados’ newest political parties is warning of a political upset in the next general election.
And if Apostle Lenroy Scantlebury’s prediction holds true, neither the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) nor the main Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will receive a clear mandate from the people in the next poll, constitutionally due by the middle of next year.
While warning that Barbadians are ready for change, the leader of the New Barbados Kingdom Alliance (NBKA) has expressed confidence that the so-called ‘third parties’ will unseat the ruling DLP and keep the BLP in the proverbial political wilderness after the election bell is rung and the final votes are tabulated.
Scantlebury, who announced last month that his NBKA would contest the next poll, further cautioned that the votes of Barbadians were not divinely prescribed to either the BLP or DLP, which have taken turns in ruling this country since independence.
“If our parties would make a decision to would work together to present to this nation 30 of the best possible candidates that we can present to them, the two ruling parties have a whole lot in store coming to them in the next general elections,” said Scantlebury during the official launch of another new political party, the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM), on Tuesday.
BIM’s leader Neil Holder echoed Scantlebury’s position and dismissed the common reference to their groups as ‘third parties’.
In fact, he contended that “BIM by virtue of being small . . . is not a third party.
“We are an alternative and we will win the next Government of Barbados . . . I am confident that I will not lose my deposit,” Holder told the gathering at Divi Southwinds on Tuesday night.
However, Scantlebury repeatedly used the term ‘third parties’ to emphasize the relevance of these groupings, while insisting that their time had come.
In fact, he said there were “just a few people across our nation who are still of the opinion that Barbados is not ready for a third party.
“Barbados is ready for a third party. The best possible time for the emergence of such a party is now,” he stressed.
In response to the suggestion that “third parties are only coming to split the votes”, Scantlebury said it was “about time the votes are split”, while contending that contrary to the belief held by many individuals “that the votes in Barbados are already parceled out to these two parties [the BLP and the DLP], the votes belong to the people, and the people can vote wherever they want to vote and for whomever they want to vote”.
In a further challenge to the two major political groups, he said: “We want to send a clear message to the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party, the new parties in Barbados, we are not third parties, we are the alternatives. We are here to do our part . . . to let Barbadians know that a new breed of leadership has come to Barbados.
“For those who believe that the halls of Parliament belong to select few we have another thing coming for them. The time for change, for betterment, for greatness, and the time for glory in Barbados is here and it is now.”