Another political group enters the fray ahead of May 24 poll
First there were two, now there are eight!
With 23 days to go before Barbadians go to the polls to elect a new Government, yet another new political party has emerged on the local landscape in the hope of taking the reins for the next five years.
In what is now a record number of parties to have indicated ahead of formal nominations on May 7 that they will be contesting the May 24 poll, an eighth political organization, known as the Future Generation Freedom Revolutionary Congress, has emerged.
Leader of the party Marguerite Iyoka Bellamy confirmed her party’s plans to Barbados TODAY this afternoon, while also declaring that she will be running in the constituency of St Andrew, a seat currently held by George Payne of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
“The people’s need to be heard is what motivated me to decide to start this party and a vision I had when I was 13, so I organized the Future Generation Freedom Revolutionary Congress because I know that the only way our people will rise again is to return to their culture, God, traditions and their ways,” she said, adding that “right now our people are going down. I look at my children and grand children and if I don’t do something they will finish the future generation. Our people are totally lost. We are losing ourselves.”
Bellamy’s vision for the island in the coming years is to make the agricultural sector Barbados’ biggest money earner.
“The basis of our economy is agriculture. This is what we are campaigning for. I am asking all the people in Barbados to vote for a party that is saying that the backbone of our economy is agriculture. Barbados has so much seaweed . . . . We must not depend on people coming to the island to feed us, we must depend on ourselves,” she said, while complaining that “all the political parties are talking but none have stressed on agriculture even though Barbados has a high food import bill that is in excess of $500 million.
“Our health bill can be reduced with us producing our own sunshine food,” Bellamy insisted while also expressing concern that the majority of Barbadians still do not own a plot of land.
“I am calling on Barbados to call on Government for land reform,” she said.
“Elect a Government that will fulfill that need, because without land you have no power, authority or respect. Every person in Barbados should have access to land so we are able to plant,” she stressed.
Her party is the latest in a series of new political organizations to have sprung up here in recent months challenging the re-election of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party whose main rival has traditionally been the BLP.
However, Bellamy today suggested that instead of working against each other, the newer parties should come together to form a coalition party in an attempt to up-seat the two traditional parties.
“I would like to call a meeting of all the third parties because fighting divided, it won’t work. I believe all the other parties are coming up to make a change because of the behaviour of the DLP and BLP, but I think all the other parties should sit down and form one solid movement for the good of the people,” she said.
Bellamy also revealed that she had started her recruitment process for candidates ever since she registered the movement with the Electoral and Boundaries Commission on April 7. But she made it clear that even if there were no other candidates standing next to her come Nomination Day on May 7, she was prepared to go forward alone.
“If I get one or five votes it won’t bother me. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It show people that I am here,” she said.
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.