BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,CMC – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has called on voters to reject the man seeking his job and ensure that the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is returned to power for another five year term on February 21.
Stuart, addressing supporters in the St. Peter’s constituency on Monday night, said that Owen Arthur, the leader of the Barbados labour Party (BLP) and a former prime minister had “fallen very far short of the expectations of the people.
“From 1984 until the year 2013 in the month of February, he had a chance to prove himself to the people of St. Peter. If you give a man that amount of time to prove himself to you and he has not proved himself yet, either he doesn’t intend to do it or he does not know how to do it,” Stuart said.
Arthur is being challenged by Haynesley Benn and Prime Minister Stuart said that the constituency is "very critical to this election."
“It is critical because the people of this constituency not only have a political decision to make, but they have a moral and ethical decision to make as well,” he said, insisting that Arthur had “abandoned the people of St. Peter."
“For five years, or 60 months, Owen Arthur has not spent in the Parliament of Barbados, a full 24 hours...for the full 6-month period, he has not sat in that House of Assembly for a long enough time that would amount to 24 hours over five years.”
Stuart said that “having abandoned the Parliament of Barbados which he disrespectfully described as a ‘poorakey’ parliament” he was also abandoning the constituents and that it was left to Benn “as a Cabinet member sitting in the Senate, to discharge the responsibilities of parliamentary representative of the constituency of St. Peter.
“Anybody who has not spent 24 hours in the House of Assembly does not want to be there,” he said, urging voters to reject Arthur on February 21.
MICE NOT CAUGHT
“The colour of a cat does not matter. What is important about any cat is that he should catch mice. You have invested in St. Peter for the last umpteenth years, in a cat of a particular colour. The mice were not being caught.
“Haynesley Benn is now the cat that you should invest in, because in the context of the politics of St. Peter, metaphorically speaking, given the problem of unemployment and all the other challenges faced in this constituency, there are mice to be caught. You are investing in the wrong cat. Get rid of that one and invest in Haynesley Benn and the Democratic Labour Party,” Stuart told jubilant supporters.
Meanwhile, the BLP says it will release it election manifesto on Valentine Day and Arthur has described the 84-page document as a “labour of love”.
Arthur told supporters on Monday night that in a democracy, a government must be held accountable and that the party has put together a document outlining the promises the DLP made during the 2008 campaign when it won the election by a 20-10 margin.
He said among the promises made was increasing the basket of goods on which the Value Added Tax (VAT) would be removed, but instead Barbadians were saddled with an increased VAT.
Arthur said the DLP had also promised it would supplement the income of families to ensure that they did not fall below the accepted level. Instead, he said, households were confronted with a case where salaries have been effectively frozen since 2008.
Arthur said it was important to hold the DLP accountable and “give them an F for failure for the way that they managed this country over the last five years”.