BRIDGETOWN: Less than a week after the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) lost to the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by Prime Minister Freundel Stewart, Owen Arthur has been replaced as leader of the BLP.
Mia Mottley, a former attorney general who in 2010 lost the leadership of the BLP, was named as the new party leader. The announcement was made by BLP executive member, Gline Clarke.
“As secretary of the parliamentary group, I just want to announce that Mia Mottley was elected as Leader of the Opposition,” said Clarke, following a meeting with parliamentary members.
Arthur did not attend the meeting, but Clarke said there was no discord within the BLP.
“The party is united,” said Clarke. “Mr. Arthur felt he would give the members of the parliamentary grouping the freedom to choose the future of the Barbados Labour Party and we thank him and respect him for that. Mr. Arthur has indicated he would be a full member of the House of Assembly and we look forward to that.”
In October 2010, after she lost the leadership to Arthur, Mottley said she would remain committed to the BLP but accused it of engaging in a kangaroo court to ensure her removal from the post she held since 2008.
The BLP lost the February 22 general election by a 16-14 margin, in which Arthur retained his parliamentary seat in Saint Peter and labour minister, Esther Byer-Sukoo, was defeated by newcomer Dwight Sutherland. Voter turnout was close to 60 per cent.
In thanking supporters for the victory, Stuart said: “We are celebrating because this organization (the DLP) during the last five years touched actual lives by its policies and programs, not to any sample, but to the population itself.”