Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is warning election day workers to be prepared for any eventuality, saying the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is desperate for power and would do just about anything to “pervert” the electoral process on May 24.
Stuart issued the warning as he addressed a mass meeting at Blades Hill, St Philip, in support of St Philip North candidate Michael Lashley on Sunday night.
Stating that this election campaign was a critical one, Stuart accused the Mia Mottley-led BLP of going “up and down the length and breadth of this country befouling the pleasant midnight air with their brand of invectives and making every attempt to suggest to the people of Barbados that the Democratic Labour Party should be resisted”.
He also described the BLP’s manifesto as a symbol of manipulation, claiming that the main opposition was running out of patience and was engaging in “opportunistic politics”.
“I say that to say this, when people are this desperate you cannot underestimate the extent of their criminality. They will do anything to secure the ends they desire.
“I well recall that in [one instance in] 1976 . . . when the count was showing that the Democratic Labour Party’s candidate . . . was ahead, all of a sudden the electricity went off and by the time the count was resumed, his opponent . . . was ahead,” said Stuart, while warning that a similar occurrence could take place in the highly anticipated poll on Thursday.
“I will say to the people of St Philip North, especially those who are going to be responsible for counting, make sure you travel with your own light, because these people are so desperate, I am serious, they are so desperate that they will, if it suits their purposes, plunge their counting stations into darkness to substitute the boxes that they want to substitute for the ones that are not favouring them.
“I know what I am speaking about.Therefore I want the people of St Philip North to take every possible precaution against the possibility that the electoral processes of Barbados could be perverted by this motley collection of political desperados whose only objective is to get into the corridors of power to rampage through the Treasury of Barbados and to repay their political sponsors for the ten years which they had to endure, deprived of all the privileges to which they were otherwise have been treated,” Stuart further cautioned.
Despite the presence of five other parties and several independents,the May 24 election is seen as a straight fight between Stuart’s DLP and Mottley’s BLP which commanded 16 and 14 seats respectively in the last Parliament.