Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate for St Michael West Central James Paul is accusing the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) of engaging in bullying tactics in the lead up to next week’s general election.
In fact, Paul is now demanding an apology from his political opponent Ian Gooding-Edghill, who he said recently walked into his constituency office uninvited, declaring, “this is war”.
“That is what he said. He said those inflammatory words and he cannot deny it,” the DLP incumbent told Barbados TODAY in relating the incident, which he said left him feeling threatened.
“Politics is not a war. When you make those type of inflammatory comments in circumstances like these, what example are you sending out there?” the DLP candidate questioned, while stating that it was not the type of political behaviour he was accustomed to.
“In the environment that we are in yes, I feel threatened. This is not necessary. I think that gentleman should immediately apologize for those comments.”
Referring to the BLP’s party colour, Paul stated that “red is an intimating colour, so when you insert that language, it is intimating to people. But I don’t let anybody scare me, [even though] it makes me question what else will you do.”
He also complained that one of his posters at the corner of Long Gap and Spooner’s Hill, St Michael was vandalized by opposition supporters.
“I recognize there is vandalism creeping in. There was an attempt made on three nights, where the poster was first slashed, [then] they came back and further ripped it apart, so it made no sense having it there,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The two-time parliamentary representative, who is seeking his third straight mandate from the people of St Michael West Central, made it clear that he had advised his supporters not to indulge in vandalism.
“I told persons who are with me and my campaign not to do anything to antagonize the other persons. We have not interfered with them. What I find unfortunate is some of the comments coming as well. When we put up posters they tried to put theirs over ours and we have not done that. If my people were to do that, I would say that is not necessary.
“That behaviour is something we should not tolerate in politics today. Candidates need to be more responsible in their behaviour and understand that they cannot say these things,” Paul stressed, while calling for a peaceful election last lap.
“Whoever wins or loses we have to be part of this country. Let us not go and inflame passions. I want us to have a good campaign, but I am not willing to tolerate vandalism because we do not know where that will lead.
“Let us come together, we have become public figures and people are watching us.”
When contacted for comment on the claims, Gooding-Edghill requested a copy of the audio recording of Paul’s interview, which was submitted to him.
However, despite repeated calls to him, he is yet to offer a response.