Prime Minister Freundel Stuart came in for a severe tongue lashing last night from the man who defeated him at the polls in St Philip South back in 1999, with former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate Anthony Wood describing this country’s head of Government as “a serial liar”.
Citing broken promises which were made by the Stuart administration that it would not impose tuition fees on Barbadian students at University of the West Indies and would not dismiss public workers, Wood sought to back up his accusation.
Appearing on a BLP platform in Wellington Street, The City, in support of incumbent Jeffrey Bostic, Wood, an economist, also sought to take apart Stuart’s incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) over its “Progress” campaign slogan for the May 24 election.
“Can we honestly say over the last ten years the DLP has made progress, when we have seen all aspects of life come crashing down?” he asked, while charging that Barbados could not be any worse off than it is now.
In a fiery speech, Wood, who had captured 2,705 votes to Stuart’s 1,459 back in 1999 before he was routed two elections later by the current Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, while Stuart also achieved electoral success in St Michael South, also predicted victory for the Mia Mottley-led BLP at the polls in two weeks time.
“Nobody votes for a Government to make their lives worse off. You have seen a systematic attempt by this Government to wreck the lives of our people,” he charged, adding that the DLP’s “economic management has resulted in thousands of people being sent home, thousands of people being under employed, thousands going for three or four years without getting their income tax returns, 23 economic downgrades and all the negatives associated with that.
“Their economic management has resulted in the transport system being in chaos, because the number of buses has declined from 200 to around 50 buses per day. Their economic management has resulted in this country becoming one of the nastiest countries in this hemisphere, but despite this, a few persons are living large,” the former Minister of Agriculture said.
“We as a Government increased the intake at the Polytechnic and Skills Training and the Barbados Community College. The last Minister of Education under the BLP had the highest number of students enrolled at UWI, close to ten thousand people. There was a dedicated programme to get people on the block into mainstream life, and these criminals [the DLP] came and changed all of that. They created two Barbadoses, one for a select few and one for the majority,” he charged.
Wood also hinted that the much talked about integrity legislation would come to pass under a BLP Government, stating that “the BLP has a duty to this nation to bring those criminals in the DLP to justice so taxpayers can see someone is on their side, and if necessary, we will reconfigure the Constitution so that if people know they are coming into politics with a corrupt nature, they will know to stay away from it or face the consequences”.