President of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), Verla De Peiza, described the announcement of a January 19, 2022 General Election in Barbados as a “panic” move by the Mia Mottley administration.
Responding to the news which came via an address that was streamed live on Monday evening De Peiza said: “It is clear that the government of the day has succumbed to feelings of panic and that the nation’s first call, which is its people’s safety, has been set aside to pursue selfish ends which expose our people to great harm and possible death.”
She was speaking against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as variant Omicron threatening and the island still under a state of emergency.
“There is no compelling argument for an election to be called 17 months out, except to be self-serving. This is not what we expect of sound leadership,” De Peiza added.
She told Barbadians to ask themselves if they are better off than 2018 or finding it easier to feed their families.
She said this was the time to send the message that Barbados was not a one-party state and the DLP’s “rejuvenated, young and committed team is best placed to take this country forward” and told the nation to vote for a Government that would put the people first.
The full statement follows:
This is a dark day for our country. Truly were are in the silly season – but our people are not silly. In the midst of a pandemic and Omicron threatening, whilst still under a state of emergency, there is no compelling argument for an election to be called 17 months out, except to be self-serving. This is not what we expect of sound leadership.
It is clear that the government of the day has succumbed to feelings of panic and that the nation’s first call which is its people’s safety has been set aside to pursue selfish ends which expose our people to great harm and possible death.
The Democratic Labour Party appeals to our people to seize this opportunity of relief and arm themselves with courage, determination and hope and rally to the polls – safely – to exercise their franchise and send a clear and decisive message to the outgoing government that their wellbeing is paramount. And as One People One Barbados send a clear and decisive message that the opportunity for change has come. We agree that the nation is divided; but in a climate of 29-1, we must ask ourselves who divided the nation.
Let us be frank; Mia does not care; Mia Scares. But do not let that deter you from summoning every single ounce of strength in your being, indeed your right and your reason, to do what is best for Barbados. Vote on the day for a change to a government that puts the best interest of its people first. The Democratic Labour Party looks forward to being your standard-bearer, come January 20, 2022.
To be clear: our Party built Blackman & Gollop multi-purpose facility and Best dos Santos lab ahead of a pandemic. That is the foresight that we need now. We recall the days when basic services were not available because that day is today: water woes continue in St Lucy and the other rural parishes and up today electricity was off in St Philip. Unprecedented in recent times, our pensioners who took a significant hit with BERT suffered further indignity by going through this Christmas season without their pension. We wear our debt like a millstone about the neck on behalf of our children and even their children.
In making your decision at this seminal moment in our history I want you to ask yourself these questions: Are you better off now than you were in 2018? Are you finding it easier to feed your families? Did you expect after $400M on EduTech that we would be scrambling with online learning? Hyatt could have been completed by now, were it not subject to political shenanigans.
If there were such faith in projected projects in the next few months then elections would be scheduled after they become reality. Warmed over promises will not do this time. Our people will do more than watch this time. Because we have learned the lessons of the past, and we know how dangerous it is to have a one-party state.
Therefore my fellow Barbadians this is your moment to have your say. It is your moment to send a message that a One-Party state will not cut it. This is your moment to collectively guide this country away from this strange form of governance and government. Together we must arm ourselves with our faith, the guidance of Almighty God and the determination to save our country. Go out on the 19th of January and with your pens, make indelible mark to signal enough is enough.
Over the coming days the DLP will lay out its case for why our rejuvenated, young and committed team is best placed to take this country forward; why we must never have a one-party state; and why we must always keep the voices, concerns and aspirations of our people at the centre of our social conscience. Our policies are designed to elevate our people and we look forward to the opportunity in the coming days to take you into our confidence.
God bless Barbados.