The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is painting a picture of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) as one that is drowning in a sea of confusion and uncertainty, forcing its representative in St John to quit.
Speaking at a rally last night in Four Roads, St John, various BLP spokespersons were particularly severe on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who they said had treated the widow of late Prime Minister David Thompson so shabbily that she “jumped ship”.
After months of uncertainly, denials and suspense, Mara Thompson, who represented the constituency since 2013 following the death of her husband, recently told constituents that she would not contest the next general election, leaving the DLP scrambling for a replacement.
“She jumped ship,” BLP leader Mia Mottley declared, arguing that Thompson did not have the political will.
“They didn’t treat her with the respect to help you, causing her to jump ship because she knew what was coming for her,” Mottley charged.
Party stalwarts Leroy McClean and George Pilgrim have indicated their interest in carrying the BLP’s baton in St John.
Kerrie Symmonds, the former DLP member who has become one of the BLP’s most contentious members and an unforgiving DLP critic, also charged that the incumbent was desperate to field candidates in all 30 constituencies, but was having a hard time getting volunteers.
Not shy to step over the edge, particularly when referring to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in derogatory terms, Symmonds last night charged the Prime Miniser of being “a political desperado clinging to power, loitering in the office of the Prime Minister after closing time”.
“What Freundel is loitering and clinging to power for is because he so mismanaged this country . . . that he can’t even find candidates to run for the Democratic Labour Party now. That explains the confusion here in St John,” Symmonds said.
“Mara Thompson has turned her back on them because Mara Thompson knows that they betrayed her. She ran as David’s Thompson’s queen and they treated her as though she was the party’s vagrant.”
He also contended that Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe had been too weak to canvass his constituency, Symmonds charged that Stuart “cannot make a determination if to keep Denis Lowe or retire Denis Lowe [because Stuart] can’t find anybody to replace Denis Lowe”, and that last month the Prime Minister “rake and scrape and put together three nay-nay, namby-pamby candidates that together can’t make one, to run against Mia Mottley, Ronald Toppin and myself”, he said in reference to The City reject Patrick Todd, who will challenge Mottley in Michael North East, first-timer Kim Tudor, chief executive officer of the Barbados National Initiative for Service Excellence, who will challenge Toppin in St Michael North and George Connolly, who will go up against Symmonds.