Bolstered by an influx of new members and new blood among candidates, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is telling the party faithful to prepare for an early return to the polls – at least within the next four years.
While addressing a meeting of the DLP’s three St. Philip constituency branches over the weekend, General Secretary Guyson Mayers suggested that the economic medicine being administered by the Government “is so bitter that people will turn away from them in droves very shortly”.
Under those circumstances, the DLP number two said, it would be prudent for Prime Minister Mottley to catch the party “napping, and call an election before she thinks we are ready. I am looking for three-and-a half to four years before the next General Election, so we must prepare for that”.
He also hinted that possible vacant seats in St Philip were additional signs that the party should prepare for elections before they are constitutionally due in 2023.
“People are forecasting that the Barbados Labour Party will be in power for a long time, and they say that we should prepare to get ourselves in shape for the next five years,” said Mayers.
“We do not have five years put down; we have a Member of Parliament who is very ill, and no one knows if or when there will be a by-election in that constituency, and we hear there are rumblings in the party with one of your (St. Philip) candidates whose head is on the cutting board, so we have to be in a state of readiness in case things fall apart, as they sometimes do,” he added. He did not elaborate.
Mayers added that since the May 24 polls, over 130 people have joined the DLP, with some expressing an interest in becoming candidates for the 30 constituencies up for grabs.
“We must bear in mind that if the BLP can win St John, we have to fight for every seat in Barbados,” the DLP general secretary told members.
Mayers said the Dems’ strategy as it sought to recover from the country’s worst-ever electoral defeat was to rebuild the 63-year-old party “from the grassroots up.
“The base of the party has not been shaken although some of the limbs of the tree have been cut off. The roots are still intact, as they are grounded in the constituency branches; you are the ones who will make or break the DLP.
“Parties of this vintage go through ups and downs; we are down now, but our ups will come again.”