Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says he is optimistic his incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) can secure a third consecutive term following today’s general election.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY shortly after casting his ballot at Bayleys Primary School, Stuart said it was now over to the voters to decide whether or not to give the DLP another chance to govern the country.
“We fought for a third term and we know that once the clock struck midnight last night it was over to the voters,” he said.
“We are optimistic that we can pull it off, but when all is said and done it is the voters that are going to be deciding that.”
Stuart also commented on what is seen as a high voter turnout so far, something which political pundits say usually does not favour the incumbent.
“I certainly have, in every speech I made during the campaign, emphasized that people not stay home; and therefore, if there have been long lines and people have been turning out to vote, that is a welcome sign. It shows that our democracy is in good stead. This election was being looked forward to for some time. I think there is heightened expectations on both sides of the political divide.”
Stuart described the election campaign as peaceful and “very good”.
“The difference between Barbados and many other jurisdictions, our elections tend to be peaceful and violence free. Yes, people express themselves vigorously and take up very strong positions on behalf of the political party they support, but it never transcends the parameters of decency,” he pointed out.
The polls close here at 6p.m. with a final result expected by midnight.
The DLP which held 16 seats in the last Parliament faces a tough challenge from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party this time around.
There are also five other parties and several independents in the race to fill the 30 seats in the House of Assembly.