It was a confident Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who led his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) team today to the Treasury – temporally located at the National Housing Corporation – to pay their deposits ahead of nomination next week for the May 24 general election.
And Stuart verbalized this confidence by suggesting the DLP would win the election, securing a third straight term.
“We look forward to polling day on the 24th [of May] and we are optimistic about our chances in this election,” the Prime Minister said.
“All of the preparatory work has been done and our team continues to work very hard,” he added, without revealing the reason for his confidence, which was shared by Dave Cumberbatch, the DLP candidate for St Peter.
Cumberbatch said he had seen enough in the various constituencies to be assured of a victory come May 24.
“Given the responses when canvassing the constituencies there is every indication, there is every reason to believe that the Democratic Labour Party will regain Government,” he said.
Cumberbatch, a newcomer to elective politics, will come up against another first-timer, Colin Jordan of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), who is seeking to replace former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who retired at the end of the last Parliament, as the Member of Parliament for the area. It is for this reason, Cumberbatch said, that he fancied his chances in the northern parish.
“Coming up against Colin Jordan or Colin Jordan coming up against me. Well look at it this way, we are both new candidates. St Peter has been a BLP territory because St Peter had a Prime Minister Owen Arthur who reigned for 14 years or so and Owen Arthur no doubt about it was a strong candidate. Colin Jordan on the other hand is a first-time candidate and I am a first-time candidate and I see my chances as good as any,” he said.
Also exuding self-assuredness was Henderson Williams, the DLP candidate for The City, himself a first-timer.
Williams said he was neither worried nor nervous, and he was looking forward to Polling Day.
“My experience thus far has been overwhelming from the point that we have been having a positive campaign. We have been able to accomplish a lot, we have done a lot for the residents of The City so we are very confident that the people of The City will recognize the work that we have done in the constituency and they will make the right choice and make me their Member of Parliament moving forward,” he said.
Meantime, Stuart revealed today that the DLP would launch its campaign on Sunday, and although he said nothing about the DLP’s campaign message, candidates such as Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss have been imploring Barbadians to ignore the promises made by the BLP.
“Ms Mottley says that they will abolish the NSRL, they are going to reduce VAT [Value Added Tax] and cut back on taxes and I say to you, you must ask where the money is going to come from to do all the things they are promising,” Inniss said last night in relation to BLP leader Mia Mottley’s pledge to abolish the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy, among other proposed relief measures.
“Don’t be fooled,” he stressed to supporters at a meeting in Arch Hall, St Thomas.
Sealy, who also addressed the meeting, picked up the theme, encouraging voters not to be fooled by idle promises.
“They have basically said they are bringing a shopping list of promises because it is about win at all costs, naked vote grabbing initiatives,” Sealy said.