The man who managed the Democratic Labour Party (DLP)’s disastrous campaign for last week’s general election is advising the party against taking up any seats in the Senate which would open up through a proposed constitutional amendment.
The Constitution makes provision for two opposition senators, but in the absence of an official opposition following the clean sweep by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), newly-appointed Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed on Saturday she had discussed a proposed amendment with Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, which would allow the party securing the second largest number of votes in the election to name the two Opposition senators.
However, DLP stalwart Robert Bobby Morris told Barbados TODAY this was not necessary since his party would prefer to earn its place in Parliament.
“My view is the Democratic Labour Party would be getting back their seats and claiming rightfully by that action, their place in the legislature in due course. I think that is going to happen. So I don’t think there is any necessity to create a position specially at this point in time. The Opposition in Parliament is not the only type of opposition that is possible. But I don’t think the Democratic Labour Party wants to be compromised in terms of their participation,” the former campaign manager said.
Morris was confident that it would not be long before the DLP re-establishes its connection with the electorate, even as he admitted that the BLP ran a much better and more appealing campaign while capitalizing
on the prevailing unfavourable economic climate.
“The Opposition would have taken a very strong position of building their own swing from their participation in Parliament . . . the votes of no confidence, their activities outside, rubbing shoulders . . . .That was a very dynamic approach by the Opposition of the day to make sure that they were in the public domain,” Morris said, adding that the swing against the DLP, which started in 2013, led to a “very powerful sweep” by the BLP.
“The combined elements of the economy and the hard work and planning of the Opposition and of course . . . they commanded the swing, because the total that they got, I think it is over 111,000 votes to the really small total of 36,000 meant that they appeal to the electorate more than the Democratic Labour Party,” he stressed.
Morris said the DLP would do some introspection, noting that the former Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, had already served notice of his decision not to contest the leadership. He said party officials would therefore put their heads together and bring about a transition of leadership to take the DLP into the next poll.
The DLP took the initial step today toward preparing for the future when the various organs met to review the outcome of last Thursday’s general election.
“Agencies of the party were discussing and getting views on the experiences of what happened in the election,” General Secretary George Pilgrim told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
He added that the executive council would meet on Wednesday to set a date for a post mortem which would involve DLP members who sat in the last Parliament.
Pilgrim said Stuart would continue to serve as president until the annual general meeting in August at which a replacement will be chosen.