As far as the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is concerned, there are only two political parties vying for office on May 24.
And party leader Mia Mottley last night instructed her supporters in Lascelles, St Michael not to be swayed by the intoxicating whispers from the “cousins” of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
It was a clear reference to the fringe parties that have popped up in this year’s general election, including the United Progressive Party and Solutions Barbados, whose leaders are both former card-carrying members of the BLP.
Also contesting next week’s election are the Barbados Integrity Movement, the People’s Democratic Congress and Bajan Free Party, which recently entered the fray.
However, Mottley advised her supporters, “don’t mind the nephews and the nieces that they have on the ballot paper” since “they have not been able to capture the attention of the population”.
“You have made it clear that it is going to come down to the two parties,” she said in reference to her own party and the DLP.
Her position was echoed by the BLP’s St Michael South candidate Kirk Humphrey who questioned why the fringe parties were attacking the BLP throughout their election campaigning.
“I am not in the Government. I am not responsible for taxpayers’ dollars, I didn’t ruin Barbados,” Humphrey said, while pointing the finger at his political opponent Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the ruling DLP, which has been in office for the past ten years.
Prior to that the BLP held office for 14 years.
However, Humphrey contended that it was the DLP that had brought Barbados “from having the most foreign reserves to zero almost”.
“The BLP ain’t bring Barbados from one of the most prosperous countries to the third most indebted country, . . . but when they are criticizing, why are they criticizing us?” the first-time candidate asked, during his impassioned speech.
He also argued that a vote for the so-called third parties was equivalent to voting for another five years of a DLP administration, while contending that the purpose of the fringe parties, such as the UPP, which is led by former BLP Cabinet minister Lynette Eastmond, was to prevent the BLP from succeeding in next week’s election.
“You will find that the UPP and the other parties are criticizing the BLP because their only function is to take BLP votes, so that the BLP has a difficult time getting into office.
“They are cousins of the Democratic Labour Party so if you decide to vote for the UPP or any of these parties, you are voting for Freundel Stuart,” he emphasized.