Less than three weeks after it was officially launched, the Political Prostitutes Party (PPP) has dropped out of the 2018 electoral race.
PPP founder and party leader Charles Spice Lewis confirmed the development to Barbados TODAY this afternoon saying that when the election bell is finally rung by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart his newly-formed political organization will not be on the ballot.
It’s the latest turn of events in the lead up to the much-anticipated poll, constitutionally due by the first week of June.
“We are going to miss this election simply because the recruitment process is not complete as yet. I am still searching for candidates to represent us throughout most of the constituencies, so it won’t be happening this election for sure,” Lewis said, while not ruling out the possibility of the PPP contesting future polls.
Lewis, a well-known player in the adult entertainment industry here first emerged on the local political landscape back in March as campaign manager for retired prostitute and independent candidate for the City of Bridgetown Natalie Natlee Harewood.
However, the two quickly decided to part company with Lewis launching his own political movement which he said stemmed from concern over the way in which the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration was handling the affairs of the island.
At the time, he said, based on the support Natlee was receiving it was evident that career politicians were letting down Barbados.
However, today Lewis said while he was contacted by several persons who were interested in representing his party at the polls, the majority had failed to meet the required standard.
“Persons who wish to join the PPP must have a genuine interest in improving Barbados’ social and economics; be willing to change the political status quo; have a business and entrepreneurial mindset; and must be in favour of legalizing, decriminalizing or regulating prostitution and other adult industry activities,” the adult industry advocate said.
“I have about 30 applications so far with about four persons expressing that they were interested in running for office and taking the country forward and I think we are on target, but unfortunately others have not met the criteria that we have set,” he further explained, adding that “I’m not really upset about the situation, I expected that it would be difficult for me to find and help prepare the right candidates for this election. I am not disappointed. What I will do right now is look towards the party in the long term.
“I announced that I was forming a party and I am still forming it, nothing has changed. The process takes time, I had a feeling that it won’t happen right away.”
Lewis told Barbados TODAY despite his party’s withdrawal from this year’s campaign, it should be ready by 2023.
“Since we will not be contesting this 2018 election it means that we will have to wait for the next one and that is a long process. I will continue trying to recruit citizens to join the party and once I have done that I will announce to the public that I have found my expected number,” he said while joining the chorus of calls for Prime Minister Stuart to announce the date for the 2018 poll.
“I think it sends a very negative message that the Prime Minister is taking so long to set a date for the elections. Everybody in Barbados is expecting him to call it anytime now, persons are getting upset and there is no explanation that is unacceptable,” he said following the automatic dissolution of Parliament on March 6.
Stuart, who has decided to take full advantage of a 90-day window afforded him under the Constitution, now has less than two months to ring bell.
With the PPP’s exit, there are now seven parties left in the race, including the incumbent Democratic Labour Party led by Stuart and its main rival, the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party.
The other contenders are the United Progressive Party led by Lynette Eastmond; Solutions Barbados, led by Grenville Phillips II; the Barbados Integrity Movement led by Neil Holder; People’s Democratic Movement led by Mark Adamson and the Bajan Free Party led by Alex Mitchell which is in a coalition with the Kingdom Government Party and the People’s Democratic Congress.