The Alliance Party for Progress (APP), a just formed two-party coalition led by Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, took its first steps towards contesting this month’s General Election, registering 22 of its candidates yesterday.
With another “three or four” expected to complete the process of paying their $250 deposit on Monday, Atherley disclosed that the party had no intention of trying to field all 30 candidates. He said to do so would be a waste of resources.
However, he said that the public will have to wait until Nomination Day for the unveiling of their members who would be seeking office.
“We never intended to have all 30 candidates because we are not going to waste resources in this short, constrained period. The time is short and the resources are minimal and we are not going to waste time running people against incumbents like Prime Minister Mia Mottley or in other Barbados Labour Party (BLP) strongholds like St Thomas. When we merged we decided that we are not going to look for 30 candidates. There are about four constituencies where we would not be running any candidates, but we fully expect to fill all of the others,” said Atherley.
APP, which is a coalition of the Lynette Eastmond-founded United Progressive Party and Atherley’s People’s Party for Democracy and Development, officially announced its existence to the public on Thursday.
Atherley, who will be seeking re-election in St Michael West, after winning in 2018 on a BLP ticket, said he is confident that the newcomers will be seen as a viable alternative to the long-standing two-party system. He sought to remind Barbadians that when the Errol Barrow-founded Democratic Labour Party first came to power, it did so with significantly less than a full slate of candidates.
“We expect to have 26 but we want to wait until they are nominated until we reveal who they are. You have to understand that sometimes people pull out at the last minute and sometimes people come forward at the last minute.
“Those who are critical of parties that don’t have a full slate of candidates need only remember that the first time that Mr Barrow won, he did so without a full slate of candidates,” he added. (CLM)