The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC) today declared it would do anything to keep the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) from taking the reins of power in the next general election, including forming a coalition with the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Sounding very much like a campaigner for the DLP administration, PDC leader Mark Adamson charged that the BLP was responsible for leaving the country in a “serious mess” and therefore did not deserve another stint in office.
“As a party, we need to help engineer a particular political outcome in the next election. We want to make sure that there is a coalition Government in this country and that coalition Government must come minus the Barbados Labour Party. Let me make that abundantly clear,” Adamson told Barbados TODAY.
In addition to the Mia Mottley-led BLP, the PDC has ruled out a partnership with the Lynette Eastmond-led United Progressive Party (UPP), which recently formed an alliance with the Citizens Action Partnership headed by Wendell Callender.
However, it is holding the door open for Solutions Barbados led by Grenville Phillips II and the DLP, but not without some conditions.
“The Barbados Labour Party would be the last party I want to form a coalition with . . . . If the Democratic Labour Party wins we can to teach them the right way, the way Errol Barrow taught us . . . the UPP will form a coalition with the BLP so they don’t need me. No UPP . . . and Solutions Barbados, they can come on board,” Deputy Leader Eric Marshall stressed.
Marshall and Adamson, who were also accompanied by the St Michael North East candidate Peter Rock, justified their position on the basis that the former Owen Arthur-led BLP had saddled the country with massive debt.
Citing the construction of Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds, the Kensington Oval redevelopment project and the establishment of a range of other state entities, Adamson was adamant that excessive borrowing by the BLP had “limited in a very serious way the growth and development options of this country”.
He argued that this had left the DLP, which took office in 2008, with “limited options”, and the country on a downward trajectory.
“You would have seen the current Government coming under serious pressure in terms of trying to balance keeping people employed in the Government service and trying at the same time to ensure that the country did not default on its debts.
“So there have been very limited options available to this Government,” Adamson claimed.
Marshall, who is contesting the St James Central constituency, conceded that the Barbados economy was not doing well, but he charged that God had raised up the PDC to “ensure what happened before cannot happen again”.
“The PDC wants to stop the mess and lawlessness of some politicians in Barbados that feel of themselves that they can take the masses of people to continue to be slaves,” Marshall said.
The PDC has been a non-factor since it first contested the 2008 general election, its two candidates together polling just 46 votes between them, or just 0.03 per cent of the votes cast.
In the last election in 2013, it improved its performance, polling 86 votes or 0.06 per cent of the ballots cast.
The party has only three declared candidates for this year’s poll, but it is confident that it could influence the result sufficiently to work its way into Government.
Despite its past performances at the polls, Marshall
was confident that though small, the party was quietly building strong support and enlisting new members to eventually form the Government on its own, not this time around, but in the next general election constitutionally due in 2023.
In the meantime, Adamson who will be going up against the BLP’s Ronald Toppin in St Michael North, revealed that the PDC had been receiving positive feedback as it canvassed communities across Barbados.
“We have been able to get a lot of our messages out. Our messages have to do with improvement in constituencies’ affairs, looking at the development of constituencies, better roads, improved drainage and so on,” the PDC leader said, adding that Barbadians were generally concerned about jobs, housing and having a greater say in the country’s affairs.
He was confident that the party would unveil new candidates in the days ahead, while he announced plans to roll out the party’s spot meetings over the next two weeks.