Barbadians appear to be running out of patience with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart over his decision to prolong the election.
In what political observers described as an unprecedented move, Stuart allowed Parliament to automatically dissolve today, without calling the election, constitutionally due by early June.
It came as no surprise since the Prime Minister had already indicated his intention to take every day allowed by the Constitution, including the 90-day period after the automatic dissolution, allowed under the Barbados Independence Order Act (1966).
Still, this did not prevent critics such as Carl Massiah from demanding an election now, arguing that the Stuart-led Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was unreasonable for hanging on while the country was plagued by a number of issues, including the economy and the south coast sewage crisis.
“We want them out,” Massiah told Barbados TODAY from outside the Parliament building.
“Why he [the Prime Minister] waiting so long to call election, when they ain’t doing nothing for we? We here suffering . . . [and] we want them out of the House.”
Massiah contended that an additional 90 days would further hurt the country, and again appealed to Stuart not to hold on any longer.
“He could call it next week and that’s the best he could do,” Massiah said.
There was a similar call from Government worker Stephen Phillips, who said he was disgruntled with the administration over its treatment of public servants, who have not had a salary increase in a decade.
“For the ten years I was working I haven’t gotten a raise of pay in ten years and this is real, real unfair to the workers in the public sector. And when you go to credit union you cannot get your money, you got to go back two days later to get your money.” Phillips said.
“This is real ridiculous. It never happened under the BLP [Barbados Labour Party] and it should have never happened under the DLP,” he added, while picking the BLP to win the election.
Meanwhile, a returning national who requested anonymity told Barbados TODAY while he had no difficulty with the 90-day grace period, the DLP needed to go.
“A lot of them need retrenching . . . [starting] from the Prime Minister,” the retiree said.
However, not everyone was upset with Stuart, as some DLP supporters such as Desmond Small dismissed any criticisms of the Prime Minister’s decision to allow the automatic dissolution of Parliament.
“Election got to call in three months and you can’t go over that [so] I don’t see why people rushing. The people [DLP] got certain things they are trying to put in place,” Small said, while adding that he believed Government had done its best given the country’s economic circumstances.
Small warned that the poll would not be a “walk through the park” for the BLP, saying anyone who believes the DLP would “sit down and play dead, they lie”.
They are going . . . to fight on the ground,” Small insisted.
Meanwhile, another DLP supporter, Wilma Kirton, adopted a different approach, accusing the BLP of playing dirty politics by engaging in a blame game against the incumbent.
“The BLP does find all kind of things to blame the DLP for, but this is a country, this is not about a party. If you have a country you must not try to pull it down whether Dee, Bee or W,” Kirton said.