BRIDGETOWN: The main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has put its supporters on standby for a general election less than seven months after it lost the poll to the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) by a two-seat margin.
Addressing the party’s 75th Annual Conference last Sunday, Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley, queried supporters if they can afford to wait four years for another election.
“Does this country have four years, or is this really the government that has four years and not the country?” she asked.
The DLP won 16 of the 30 seats in the February general election. Since then, the Freundel Stuart administration has acknowledged a stagnant economy.
Mottley, who took over the leadership of the party after former prime minister Owen Arthur suffered electoral defeat in February, said the BLP was not prepared to wait for the next general election, constitutionally due in 2018 to effect changes to governance of the country.
“I’m saying to you, however, prepare yourself for a rescue mission,” she said. “We are not going to draw arms. We will not crack any heads. But as sure as night follows day, rapid decline in this our fair land cannot continue…something will have to give. A change of government is non-negotiable to the people of Barbados who believe that better cannot happen under this Democratic Labour Party.”
Mottley, a former attorney general, called on the private sector, the labour movement, civil society and media organizations to think about the future direction of the country.
“That is the question that each and every one of you from all walks of life must answer,” she said.
Mottley said it was also the responsibility of the DLP to respond to the concerns of the people and tens of thousands of Barbadians who have already signed a petition calling for removal of Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, who survived a motion of no confidence in the Parliament last week.
Mottley said the petition was an indication of a desire for change.
“Bajans have told us in their tens of thousands in the last week or two that they are prepared to stand up for love of country,” she said. “I ask you to ready yourself, because we will be ready whenever the time comes, not because we want to be the government, but because this country needs people ready for any eventuality to conduct a restoration.”