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Barbadians go to the polls Feb. 21

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Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said on Jan. 29 that nationals will go to the polls on Feb. 21 to elect a new government.

Start made the announcement through the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), declaring Feb. 6 as Nomination Day.

Stuart said Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave has issued the writ for general elections and dissolved Parliament, which earlier on Jan. 29 adjourned its last session until Feb. 5.

The announcement ends months of speculation about when the incumbent Democratic Labor Party (DLP) will seek a second term in office.

The main opposition Barbados Labor Party (BLP) had boycotted the Feb. 29 sitting of the House of Assembly in protest against the delay in calling the elections past the 5th anniversary of the DLP administration on Jan. 15.

The BLP said tonight that Stuart’s announcement through the BGIS was another demonstration of his lack of leadership and “aversion to speaking to his people”.

Former deputy leader Mia Mottley said the prime minister’s “disconnected” approach in dealing with such a national situation should be a wake-up call for Barbadians to change the political leadership of the country in favor of an Owen Arthur-led administration.

“Even in the calling of an election, Prime Minister Stuart has defied all the odds in the issuance of a Government Information Service press release,” Mottley said.

“I really must confess that I have never known a prime minister to call an election through a GIS release. That caught me absolutely by surprise; and, if I was a Dem (DLP), I would be disheartened by that,” she added.

“There are not many things a prime minister has to do, but in the one power that only he and no one else on this earth can exercise, even that he has chosen to dodge by way of announcing it through a press release of a Government Information Service agency,” Mottley continued.

“Maybe he has gone back to sleep, but it is a matter that perhaps best symbolizes why this country needs change now, because Barbados needs to have leadership that reinforces it and gives it confidence at those very difficult times of our lives, economically and by extension, socially,” she said.

Updated 1:03 pm, February 11, 2013:
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