Three states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will hold general elections to elect new governments within weeks. In fact Grenadians will go to the polls tomorrow and electorates in Antigua and Barbuda will vote on March 21. Barbados Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart has not yet announced the election date, but he has dissolved Parliament signalling that elections will be held before the May 21 deadline.
On Tuesday March 13, Keith Mitchell the outgoing Prime Minister will make the bid for his party, the New National Party (NNP) to be returned to run the government and he be named Prime Minister for the fifth time. However the leader of the opposition National Democratic Party (NDP), Nazim Burke, has signalled that his party will not go down like the last general elections under Tillman Thomas when the party failed to gain a seat. Burke is optimistic of victory.
Over in St. Johns, outgoing Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, called snap elections on March 21 in Antigua and Barbuda, 15 long months before the constitutional date. This seems to be unusual for a first term Prime Minister but Brown said that the early date was called to protect the many plans his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party has programmed for this year and next. He added “we have an opportunity at this point to consolidate the leadership of this country, to provide investors with predictability, to provide stability, to provide continuity”.
The leader of the main opposition party, United Progressive Party (UPP), Harold Lovell said his party will contest 16 of the 17 seats, while his party’s affiliate, the Barbuda People’s Movement will contest one seat, Barbuda. The new Joanne Massiahled Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will field 13 candidates. The Antigua and Barbuda True Labour Party led by Vere Bird III will contest two constituencies.
In Barbados, Mia Mottley, the leader of the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), will go all out to defeat Stuart’s Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to be named as first female Prime Minister of the country that is known as `Little England’.