BRIDGETOWN, January 4, 2022 - Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, was among 108 candidates from seven parties and nine independents who turned in their nominations yesterday to contest the January 19 general elections.
Also filing nomination papers were Democratic Labour Party (DLP) leader Verla De Peiza, and former Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the DLP are both fielding a full slate of 30 candidates while Bishop Atherley’s Alliance Party for Progress (APP) has nominated a total of 20 candidates.
After handing in her nomination papers at St Matthews Primary School in Jackmans, St. Michael, Prime Minister Mottley told the media that the country has some difficult times ahead.
She said the country now stands at a “very, very difficult point” and the next administration has to make some decisions that will position Barbados to face “some of the most difficult circumstances for the next 10 to 15 years”.
“If we don’t do it now, we will be unprepared, and none of us will want that. We have already seen how difficult it is through the pandemic; how difficult it is as consequences from the climate crisis, with the freak storm and the hurricane [Elsa],” Mottley declared.
The Prime Minister warned that the world will also face a number of other perils and the Government must create a platform so Barbados can become the best they can be.
“And that is going to mean transformation in a number of areas; so that our kids can have the best chance that they can have; people can have access to housing, people can have access to opportunities and people can live in a fair and just society,” she said.
Mottley said she has a team that will make the strongest possible case as to why the BLP administration is the best group to continue carrying this country forward, and to protect it.
DLP leader DePeiza upon completing her nomination at the Daryll Jordan Secondary School in St Lucy, reiterated that the upcoming election was not necessary at this stage but pointed out that her party would mount a safe campaign.
“It is a tough time to call an election. It is not even a necessary time to call an election with 18 months or so to go, but it is what it is. We will do our part to make sure more people are kept safe. There is no intention to endanger the lives of our citizens while they exercise their democratic rights,” she said.
In the meantime, APP leader Bishop Atherley suggested that there was a need for a change in Government.
“There is a pattern emerging around issues in Barbados which suggests that this government, if elected, would take this country down a wrong path. Bajans have to wise up to that and be alert to that,” said the APP leaders he spoke outside the nomination centre.
“There are some things going on in the global agenda, they may be imported here. It scares me that Barbados is hovering on the brink at a very critical juncture. They just need to get up and understand, it is the future of Barbados, it is the future of our children,” he said.
Atherley noted that the country needed a strong opposition in Parliament. “Change this government, or if you feel satisfied with what they are doing, make sure that the Opposition in the Parliament, which has been doing its job, is strengthened,” he noted.
“Bajans have to address the balance, the configuration that now obtains in the Parliament of Barbados. Any government, whatever label it wears, whether it is the APP… whether it’s the DLP or BLP, cannot be allowed to go into the Parliament with such numbers in dominance that it can do what it wants,” he told reporters.
Supervisor of Elections Angela Taylor reported that the Nomination Day process on Monday went well and noted that most things were in place for the holding of the general elections.