Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St James Central candidate George Connolly has congratulated the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) on its “emphatic” general election win.
The Mia Mottley-led BLP claimed all 30 seats at stake in Thursday’s general election confining the incumbent DLP to the proverbial political wilderness.
However, a magnanimous Connolly, who was soundly defeated by the BLP’s Kerrie Symmonds in his first outing, acknowledged today that “this [BLP win] is historic on so many levels”, adding that the task now for “myself and my peers [is] to continue our work to build better communities as we move every individual in the country forward.
“Despite not being the official Opposition, it is our intention to ensure the incoming administration is held up to scrutiny,” Connolly said.
Earlier, in conceding defeat on behalf of the DLP, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, 66, accepted “full responsibility” for the loss, while signalling his pending exit from electoral politics in Barbados.
“Let me unhesitatingly and unequivocally and frankly accept full responsibility for the defeat of the Democratic Labour Party in the election and let me assure all the party members that we govern in very challenging circumstances no previous Government in Barbados has had to govern in circumstances quite like the circumstances that we have had to govern,” Stuart said.
Stuart, who entered elective politics in 1994, said that Thursday’s general election would have been his last regardless of the results. However, he said he would assist the DLP as it moves to name a replacement for him.
Speaking at the party’s George Street, St Michael headquarters, Stuart said that his administration had to govern in a very challenging environment in the 21st century , adding “we did the best we could according to our likeness and according to our judgement over the very difficult and challenging decade in which we had to administer the affairs of Barbados”.
He acknowledged that the Government had to take some “tough and sometimes unpalatable decisions”, but said he remained confident that “in the fullness of time the wisdom of our actions be vindicated.
“As far as the Democratic Labour Party is concerned, I think we have to when the dust has settled reflect on what has happened, try to determine why it has happened and take what corrective steps we deem necessary to ensure we start that process of necessary rebuilding and I am confident we have the human resources in this party to do it,” Stuart added.
Hundreds of BLP supporters took to the streets during the early hours of Friday to celebrate the victory with Mottley, who was sworn in earlier today as the country’s eighth prime minister and first female head of Government, urging the private sector to close their businesses today at 1p.m.