Member of Parliament for St James South Donville Inniss is not losing sleep over the fact that both his declared opponents for the seat are women – Sandra Husbands of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party and Cristal Austin of the United Progressive Party.
However, Inniss told Barbados TODAY he expected a tough campaign, therefore, he would not be complacent.
When political scientist Peter Wickham predicted earlier this week that the incumbent Democratic Labour Party could count on four safe seats in the next general election, Inniss’ was not among the four.
But he said skill and commitment would determine the winner of the seat.
“Having two female opponents is not a big issue for me. I am not one to focus on gender issues. I welcome women being involved in areas that were traditionally male dominated, but the truth of the matter is that we have had females in politics now for many decades, so the issue of women in politics should not be a big issue. It is more a matter of skills and commitment to the cause.
“I am very mindful that I do have a significant challenge in St James South. I am not going to stand here and tell you that the re-election of myself as parliamentary representative for St James South is going to be any walk in the park. I have never, upon entering active politics, for one moment, felt that there is room for complacency or that I can sit back, relax and think that I have it locked down,” he stressed.
Notwithstanding, a confident Inniss told Barbados TODAY he would continue to focus on areas of concern for his constituents as he seeks a third term.
“I am going to run on my commitment to the people of St James South. I am going to run on my stewardship as a Cabinet minister as well, and as a relatively young man who I believe still has a future in national development,” he said.
Inniss maintained that the imposition of a number of taxes and removal of some allowances by the governing party had made it more difficult for his constituents to meet their daily commitments.
He said he would try to explain to constituents why the DLP had taken certain economic decisions.
“I am [more]. . . concerned about my constituents’ ability to pay their bills on time and their ability to better secure their children’s future and about the kind of infrastructure they have around them, than I am concerned, quite frankly, about people’s private life,” Inniss said.
“It will not be an easy campaign. I have never had one decent campaign in St James South. It has always been one of mudslinging, accusations of nefarious activities, very nasty personal attacks on myself and my family and I expect that such will continue. But that is not my style,” Inniss said.