Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has welcomed today’s announcement by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of the May 24 general election date.
“Today is a good day for the people of Barbados,’ Mottley said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
“At last there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Barbados Labour Party [BLP] is ready and the country is ready. Indeed, we have been ready for the past 18 months. We are conscious that our country stands at a crossroads and Barbadians will have to make a serious decision about our country on May 24.”
However, she expressed concern about what she referred to as the “logistical difficulties” of the date.
“He has had five years to set a date for the elections. It is therefore regrettable that he has chosen that date one that conflicts with the examinations being taken by our children on both Nomination Day and Election Day,” Mottley said while suggesting that there would be some anxiety on the part of parents and children who are down to sit Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
“The Prime Minister and the Government need to explain to the country as soon as possible what arrangements will be put in place to minimize this anxiety . . . . This is nothing more than a royal fumble,” Mottley said.
On Thursday morning, the Prime Minister said he had officially notified Governor General Dame Sandra Mason of the May 24 election date.
Nomination Day is set for Monday, May 7. However, on both dates, students are due to take CSEC exams.
The Barbados Parliament automatically dissolved on March 6, and earlier this week Mottley, in a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister, urged him to quit stalling on the announcement of the election date, even though he is allowed up to 90 days under the Constitution to make the announcement after the dissolution of the House.
Mottley also said the BLP had in place its full slate of 30 candidates in place and was ready for the poll.
In the last general election of 2013, the ruling Democratic Labour Party won 16 of the 30 seats with the remainder going to the BLP.