The United Progressive Party (UPP) may now be left licking its wounds after three of its former candidates left to join the Opposition.
However, the relatively young political party said it was not daunted and would continue to “build strong” and represent the interest of Barbadians.
In a Facebook post the UPP, which failed to capture a seat in the last election, in which the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) took all 30 seats, said it expected that Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley would form a new political party.
It was on Saturday that Atherley announced a team he said would speak on behalf of the Opposition on national issues.
He stressed that the announcement was not the launch of a political party, but said that would come in due course.
Maria Phillips, Bruce Hennis and Paul Forte, who ran under a UPP ticket in the last election, were part of the 13 members named among the Opposition team.
The UPP described the move as an interesting one, stating that its members had the freedom of choice.
“As expected, Joseph Atherley is forming a new Party. As you know Atherley contested the election under the BLP and in a surprise move crossed the floor to sit in the Opposition seat. Three of the individuals who appear in the media photograph contested the last election under the UPP banner. To the best of our knowledge and belief they have left the UPP.
“The development is an interesting one for those who study politics as Barbados seeks to build a multi-party democracy. The UPP in a statement immediately after the last election gave its candidates the freedom to choose,” it said.
The party, which is led by attorney-at-law Lynette Eastmond, said it would continue to build strong and continue to represent the interests of all Barbadians.
“It is clear that there is a certain amount of discontent among Barbadians as they are not seeing the transparency and access which they were promised during the last election.
“The UPP has made it its business to keep its channels of communication open with all parties and will continue to do so in the interest of Barbados,” the UPP added.
Atherley, who was elected to the House of Assembly on a BLP ticket, formed a one-man Opposition mere days after the May 24 general election.
He had named two Opposition Senators – Crystal Drakes and Caswell Franklyn, who were also named as spokespersons for the Opposition on issues of national importance. He said three more people would be added to that group of senators at a later date.
His Opposition group also consists of former Solutions Barbados candidates Scott Weatherhead, Alan Springer, Irvin Belgrave, Rev John Carter and Paul Gibson.
There are also Sylvan Greenidge from the Barbados Integrity Movement and lecture Dr Philip Corbin and Akil Daley.
“This is, for me as Leader of the Opposition, a proud moment. I believe it is for our country a historic moment,” Atherley said on Saturday. (MM)