Leader of Solutions Barbados Grenville Phillips II is adamant that all candidates representing the party in the upcoming general elections must adhere to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.
This after several candidates threatened over the weekend to quit the three-year-old movement, which is preparing to contest elections here for the first time.
While not naming those at the centre of the internal dispute, Phillips confirmed that he was slapped with the resignation letters following a request made about two weeks ago by several Solutions Barbados candidates – many of whom own businesses – for a review of a clause in their contracts.
“We invited and continue to invite any registered charity in Barbados to be a beneficiary of the financial penalty. Over the past three years, many potential candidates have stumbled at this contract requirement. However, given the disastrous consequences for Barbadians if our policies are not implemented, it is important that Barbadians have some confidence that we have a high standard of integrity and accountability,” Phillips said in explaining the source of the disagreement.
“We received letters of resignation which were retracted. There was some concern from a few candidates about a specific clause in the contract. Immediately after a result was known then we had a little bit of frustration but it settled down. It was an internal matter. Something was said publicly when it really shouldn’t have been said, but things are resolved by voting,” Phillips told Barbados TODAY while adamant that candidates must be held accountable.
“There are people who say I would like to be a candidate, I like your policies, but I don’t want that level of accountability and that is ok, there are several political parties that they can join, the ones we have with us are those who agreed to be accountable,” he said, adding that “at the start of Solutions Barbados the standard of accountability was that everyone signed a contract where they pay a severe financial penalty if they don’t vote for the resolutions that they have agreed to when they joined us.
“If they decided now that they want the corruption and the mismanagement that the other parties have perfected over the past years, then they must be a penalty. We can’t have people deciding we want the corruption now so we are going to vote for it. If they do that, there will be penalty,” he stressed.
However, Phillips assured that despite this weekend’s events, Solutions Barbados stood united as a party and was ready for the upcoming general elections, due by the first week of June.
He also assured that at the end of one week of “passionate discussion”, candidates voted to remain accountable through the provisions of the effective contract.
The Solutions Barbados leader also contended that his party was the only real solution to the island’s economic woes.
“We are at the brink of economic ruin. None of the other parties have anything that can help us. All they do is promise us harsh austerity and bitter pills we don’t see things improving for at least a decade.
“The only thing that can save Barbados from the foreseen ruin is Solution Barbados’ policies. The only risk to those policies being implemented is if people don’t carry them out,” he added.
Up to Friday last week, the party was said to have 27 candidates in place for the upcoming poll in which there are 30 seats at stake.