He is entitled to make decisions that he believes to be in his best interest, said Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley in response to today’s resigation of Barbados Labour Party (BLP) stalwart and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
In a one-page statement, Mottley thanked Arthur for his service to the BLP and the country, while expressing the hope that he would continue to work with the party “in the spirit of national cooperation”.
“Owen Arthur served the Barbados Labour Party and Barbados at a critical time before the end of the last century. He helped to lay the foundation for the Barbados that is and the Barbados that we are struggling to preserve,” she said.
“As Mr Arthur rallies to the end of this parliamentary term and thereafter, we hope that he will continue to make himself available in the service of this country. Even though he will no longer be sitting as a member of this party, we hope that in the spirit of national cooperation he will work with us on issues as he will with others, just as we will work with any member of the Barbadian society towards the restoration of hope.
“As I said in my letter yesterday to Prime Minister [Freundel] Stuart, these are extraordinary times, and extraordinary times require of us courage and extraordinary action. Our traditional politics will not help us navigate these turbulent waters,” said Mottley, who once served as Arthur’s deputy.
Meanwhile, BLP general secretary Senator Dr Jerome Walcott said he was shocked by Arthur’s resignation.
He said it was regrettable since Arthur had made a great contribution to Barbados and the party.
“I regret that it has ended like this,” Walcott said.
“I think the party will certainly regret his not being around in terms of meetings, but having made his decision, we have to respect his decision; and I have no doubt that the party [which] has been around for [76 years] will continue doing its work to bring about a better life for the people of Barbados.”