A former Government Senator says he fully expects Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to ring the election bell any day now.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a visit by a missionary group from the United States to the newly opened Hephzibah Nursery & Preschool this morning, Dr David Durant, who is also founder and senior pastor of Restoration Ministries, said the way was now clear for Stuart to make his much anticipated announcement, adding that he did not believe that the Prime Minister would wait for the very last moment to do so.
“I do not think that the Prime Minister is going to go down to the constitutional [deadline of June 6] because as long as certain things are put in place, which I think, they are now in place, I think that elections could be called any time soon,” Durant said, while stressing that it was not necessary for Stuart to go down to the absolute wire.
“It is not necessary to go to the constitutional date,” Durant said with the country already in unprecedented political territory after Stuart chose to take advantage of a 90-window afforded under the Constitution of Barbados to his Government whose five year term in office officially expired on March 6 leading to the automatic dissolution of Parliament.
While acknowledging that there was currently some disillusionment among Barbadians, Durant suggested that it could be because “they are hearing a lot of things that may not be true and it is bringing a sense of helplessness . . . [and] a sense of fear”.
He also commented on the unprecedented number of political parties down to contest the upcoming poll which must be called at the latest by June saying, “this year is the most political parties we have ever had. This is the most parties in the history of Barbados”.
However, he remains steadfast in his belief that the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) can secure another term in office.
“I think the chances are sound that the DLP can hold the Government for another term. They just have to begin to talk about the many things they have done. A lot of things are being kept quiet, which I think they should talk about. I believe when the campaign begins it will highlight what they were able to do in the last ten years and what they have projected to do in the next five,” he said, adding that as long as the party can successfully articulate its vision and say how it intends to build the economy, they should be able to secure a third straight term.
“Right now unemployment is still low for the kind of crisis we are in, people are working,” Durant suggested, adding that “I think we have to be thankful for what we have as a country and an island without much resources and my hope is that we will find the oil that is out there that will grow our economy and make things cheaper in Barbados.
Durant also suggested that culture could be one of the driving mechanisms of Barbados’ economy if it is properly defined.
“I have seen a lot of things we call culture [that] I beg to differ from. I think once we pay attention to that, I think we can develop a cultural industry that will be second to none with our young people, our young entrepreneurs, our professionals in their various fields and academia who can really develop things in this island and develop a culture that is healthy, a culture that is wholesome, a culture that is productive, a culture that is building, a culture that is progressive and uplifting for our young people in our nation,” he said.