The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Wins General Elections in Barbados
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has narrowly held onto the reins of Government in Barbados.
Totally Barbados can confirm that on February 21st, 2013 general elections, the DLP won 16 seats in the 30-seat House of Assembly.
The Barbados Labour Party has taken 14 seats but a recount is taking place in one of the constituencies where its candidate narrowly beat her DLP opponent.
Among those retaining their seats were Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and BLP Leader Owen Arthur.
Prior to the elections the DLP held 21 seats and the BLP held nine.
The result coincides with some pre-election predictions that the poll was too close to call.
An estimated 248,000 persons were eligible to vote in the Barbados elections, which were contested by the DLP, BLP and eight independent candidates. Voter turnout was close to 60 per cent.
Voting centers in the 30 constituencies around the island were opened at 6 a.m. to allow the electorate to cast their ballots. Voting was heavy during the morning hours but slowed to a trickle in the afternoon and then picked up again in the evening.
The centers closed at 6 p.m.
Supporters of the two parties assembled at the polling stations from around 8 p.m. where the votes were being counted. The count went on until the wee hours of morning on February 22nd, 2013.
The elections, the 10th since the 166-square-mile island attained political independence in 1966, brought an end to three weeks of fierce campaigning. Elections in Barbados are held every five years, in accordance with the island’s constituents.
The date was announced on January 29th, 2013, ending weeks of speculation as to when they would have been called.
In the elections the DLP was led by 61-year-old Attorney-at-law Freundel Stuart, who became Prime Minister of Barbados following the death of the late Prime Minister David Thompson in October 2010.
At the helm of the BLP was Owen Arthur, 63, an economist who had served as Prime Minister between 1994 and 2008.
Both parties concluded their election campaigns with meetings attended by massive supporters on Wednesday night February 20th, 2013.
The DLP held its meeting in Independence Square while the BLP and its supporters gathered outside Government Headquarters on Bay Street.
Both meetings were attended by sizeable crowds.
Several key issues dominated the election campaign.
The DLP focused attention on housing program which was started since 2008, road and highway improvements, social legislation, the retention of public sector employment and keeping the Barbados economy stable during one of the worst economic crisis to affect the global economy.
The BLP for its part it blamed the government for the economic difficulties being experienced by the country.
Article by: Brett Callaghan
February 22nd, 2013