Elections in Barbados are less than one year away from the constitutionally due time, and though no date has been set political broadsides have begun with the ruling party warning of a dirty campaign.
Within two days of each other Democratic Labour Party Cabinet Minister Chris Sinckler and party veteran, Derek Alleyne, have indicated that dirt will be thrown at a level never seen before on the island.
Sinckler, a DLP member of parliament, on Saturday, Sept. 23 accused the Opposition Barbados Labour Party of spreading rumours of himself and Cabinet colleague Michael Lashley being involved in unspecified illegal business.
“They [BLP activists] intend to put out a lot of fake news, nasty lying information, starting in other places outside of Barbados and migrating into the mainstream social in Barbados … trying their best to link me and other members of the Democratic Labour Party to criminal activities,” Sinckler said, adding “it’s going to get worse. This is not the only thing. They’re going to put out other stuff too.”
“This is going to be easily the nastiest campaign that would ever be fought in Barbados,” he added contending that the unsavory tactics will be coming from the BLP as it seeks to remove his party from government.
“They are certain people that they have identified that they feel stand in the way of them getting government, and I am one of them. So they have started this campaign against me and Michael Lashley,” he said, adding, “this is a ‘Get Chris campaign.’”
One day later Director of the Urban Development Commission Derek Alleyne declared “it is going to be an election of elections… we [the DLP] have to make our re-election sure.”
“We can lose the next general election if we do not do what we are supposed to do,” Alleyne said, adding, “who lives with whom is going to come up, as part of that election campaign.”
Opposition BLP Chairman George Payne fired back claiming that activists of the governing DLP have already started using dirty tactics against Opposition leader Mia Mottley “to question her integrity and otherwise tarnish her character. We expect them to come with a … charade of half-truths and twisted facts.”
Payne said there is no need to target Finance Minister Sinckler because, “his policies have been a complete failure and the perilous state of the economy is proof of that. He has presided over 19 [international economic] downgrades, the longest period of economic paralysis since independence, the highest cost of living ever experienced here, the most taxes ever imposed on Barbadians, the longest time public workers ever went without a salary increase, and the total bungling of several matters including Clico and Four Seasons.
“In terms of Mr. Lashley’s performance in the ministries of housing and transport, he has demonstrated his ineffectiveness to manage effectively.”
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is the only person who can set a date for the next general elections in Barbados for 30 parliamentary seats, but while he remains silent on this scheduled time there is emerging evidence that some can’t wait for the ringing of that bell.