Following weeks of suspense on Thursday morning Barbados Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart announced that nation’s general election will be held on May 24, with Nomination Day set for Monday, May 7.
Opposition leader welcomes announcement
Leader of the main opposition Barbados Labor Party (BLP), Mia Mottley who recently criticized the prime minister for not announcing the date and calling on him to do so as a matter of urgency, welcomed the announcement. “Today is a good day for the people of Barbados,” said Mottley in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “At last there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Barbados Labor Party is ready and the country is ready. Indeed, we have been ready for the past 18 months ., we are conscious that our country stands at a cross roads and Barbadians will have to make a serious decision about our country on May 24.”
Clashes with school examinations
However, the opposition leader expressed concern about what she referred to as the “logistical difficulties” of the date.
“He has had five years to set a date for the elections, it is therefore regrettable that he has chosen a date that conflicts with the examinations being taken by our children on both nomination and election day.” Mottley added said there will be some anxiety on the part of parents and some children.
“The Prime Minister and the government need to explain to the country as soon as possible what arrangements will be put in place to minimize this anxiety… this is nothing more than a royal fumble,” Mottley said.
The Barbados Parliament was dissolved over a month ago, and earlier this week Mottley, in a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister, said the BLP was ready for general elections and stated that the party already had in place the full slate of 30 candidates .
In the last general election of 2013, the ruling Democratic Labor Party (DLP), won 16 of the 30 seats with the remainder going to the BLP.