BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday May 2, 2018 – With 22 days to go before Barbadians go to the polls to elect a new government, another political party has emerged.
In what is now a record number of parties to have indicated ahead of formal nominations on May 7 that they will be contesting the May 24 poll, an eighth political organization, the Future Generation Freedom Revolutionary Congress, has indicated it will contest the polls.
Leader of the party, Marguerite ‘Iyoka Bellamy’, confirmed the plans to the Barbados Today online newspaper, while also declaring that she will be running in the constituency of St Andrew, a seat currently held by George Payne of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
“The people’s need to be heard is what motivated me to decide to start this party and a vision I had when I was 13, so I organized the Future Generation Freedom Revolutionary Congress because I know that the only way our people will rise again is to return to their culture, God, traditions and their ways,” she said. “Right now our people are going down…Our people are totally lost. We are losing ourselves.”
Bellamy’s vision is to make the agricultural sector Barbados’ biggest money earner.
“The basis of our economy is agriculture. This is what we are campaigning for. I am asking all the people in Barbados to vote for a party that is saying that the backbone of our economy is agriculture…We must not depend on people coming to the island to feed us, we must depend on ourselves,” she said. “All the political parties are talking but none have stressed on agriculture even though Barbados has a high food import bill that is in excess of $500 million…Our health bill can be reduced with us producing our own sunshine food.”
Bellamy also expressed concern that the majority of Barbadians still do not own a plot of land.
“Elect a Government that will fulfill that need, because without land you have no power, authority or respect. Every person in Barbados should have access to land so we are able to plant,” she stressed.
Her party is the latest in a series of new political organizations to have sprung up in recent months, challenging the re-election of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) whose main rival has traditionally been the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
However, Bellamy suggested that instead of working against each other, the newer parties should come together to form a coalition party.
“I would like to call a meeting of all the third parties because, fighting divided, it won’t work. I believe all the other parties are coming up to make a change because of the behaviour of the DLP and BLP, but I think all the other parties should sit down and form one solid movement for the good of the people,” she said.
Bellamy revealed that she had started her recruitment process for candidates ever since she registered the movement with the Electoral and Boundaries Commission on April 7. But she said that even if there were no other candidates standing next to her come Nomination Day on May 7, she was prepared to go forward alone.
“If I get one or five votes it won’t bother me. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It shows people that I am here,” she said.
The other contenders in the election later this month are the United Progressive Party; Solutions Barbados; the Barbados Integrity Movement; People’s Democratic Movement; and the Bajan Free Party which is in a coalition with the Kingdom Government Party and the People’s Democratic Congress. (Adapted from Barbados Today)