DLP issues statement on Senate seats

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has not ruled out accepting the offer – when it is made – of two seats in the Senate, but the decision will not be made “outside the four corners of the law”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the DLP said while the party lauded Prime Minister Mia Mottley for the willingness to make the legislative changes to effect two Opposition seats in the Senate, it maintained she was not in a position to do so.

Should the offer be made, “the organs of the party will decide if to accept” and put the necessary process in place.

The Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats in the January 19 General Election, leaving the country without a parliamentary opposition. The House of Assembly was convened this past week, and on Wednesday, attorneys acting on behalf of former Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite QC, filed a constitutional motion in the Supreme Court, challenging the make up of the Senate.

The matter was adjourned until February 25 on Friday when counsel appeared before Justice Cicely Chase.

The full statement follows:

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) lauds Prime Minister Mia Mottley for recognising the need for legislative change to make her offer of Opposition seats in the Senate lawful.

Two weeks ago the DLP said that it was willing to accept the seats but was abundantly clear in its statement  that the Prime Minister was not within her rights under Law to make any offer of those Senate positions.

There has been much subsequent debate over a matter which we thought was clear.

We are acutely conscious of the need for extreme vigilance in the current dispensation, and at no time will the organisation be party to decision-making where the potential for operating outside the four corners of the law may occur.

We look forward to this administration upholding the grand traditions of good governance for which we have been known as a country.

When the offer is received the organs of the party will decide if to accept the offer, and if there is consensus the Democratic Labour Party will then put the processes in place to identify the senators.

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