Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is adamant that Barbadians should not have been subjected to another voting exercise on Wednesday, given that the Mia Mottley-led government had not completed the programme it outlined in its 2018 election manifesto.
He was firm in that position even as he cast his vote at Bayleys Primary School, in St Philip.
In fact, the former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) leader described the poll which was held 18 months before it was constitutionally due as a “cheap piece of theatre”.
Stuart contended that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) came to the country in the 2018 elections and said that things were “very bad” and that “they needed all 30 seats” and five years to put things right and “the people obliged”.
“Within a year and a half of being in office, COVID stepped in and Parliament was prorogued and the Government’s agenda was reset so that it could take account of COVID for the remainder of its term. COVID has not gotten any better and three-and-a-half years later, we are in an election, although the Government has not completed the programmes set out in its manifesto of 2018,” he said.
“I don’t think the population should have been going through this at this time. The reasons we were given is that the country needed to be united. After this election, the country is going to be more divided than it was before the election because the amount of bitterness and hostility that has been generated in the campaign itself is going to ensure that we have a divided country, and that is really not for the good of anybody in Barbados.
“I think that we have to get past this cat and mouse game we play in Barbadian politics of thinking that we should call snap elections when it suits our purposes, the purposes of persons who want power, rather than serving the people of Barbados on the basis of the mandate that has been given. So, relying on an imported brand of political hypnosis, we have just gone through an election campaign and a very cheap kind of theatre is now part of our politics and will be part of our politics for the next few days,” Stuart added.
The former leader contended that “some serious and painful decisions will have to be taken to get Barbados back on some kind of even keel”.
“Having said all of that, as I said in 2018, I continue to wish Barbados well because when Barbados does well we all benefit. I hope that this cheap piece of theatre, when the curtains are drawn on it and when everything settles down, that the average Barbadian man and woman, who continues to have faith in our institutions and how they work, will be the better off,” Stuart added.