Will Barbados Strong Man Owen Arthur Get The Same Lesson?
The people of Venezuela have rejected Hugo Chavez’ mission to become President for Life. Chavez had gone to the polls in a referendum that would have changed the Constitution of Venezuela to remove all term limits, but he was unable to find anywhere near the public support for this measure that he needed. (News article here)
The question now on everyone’s mind is “Will Chavez go gracefully, or will he contrive to stay in office?”
Barbados Labour Party Also Seeks To Change Laws To Maintain Power
In an outrageous turn of events in Barbados, Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley first announced last week on live radio that Bajans would be asked a referendum question on becoming a Republic – and that the question would be included on the ballot during the soon-to-be-held national elections.
Then, only two days later, the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the referendum would NOT be held in conjunction with the national election! As a reason for the change, Mottley told a tale that made it clear that the Chief Election Officer had not been consulted prior to the government announcement!
There is no doubt that these are strange, strange times in the Barbados Cabinet.
During the past year the Government of Barbados tinkered with the Constitution almost at will until November – when the government’s quest to suspend the highest law in the land to promote and hire BLP supporters was brought up short by public outrage.
This Chavez-like willingness to change the laws to give legitimacy to anything they want to do has become a hallmark of the Barbados Labour Party under Owen Arthur.
With No Heir-Apparent, BLP Strong Man Must Seek A 4th Term
In September of 2007, the official government Barbados Labour Party Blog ran an article coming out against Term Limits for elected politicians, and especially BLP leader Owen Arthur who is being forced by party loyalty to seek a fourth term as Prime Minister of Barbados. (BLP Blog article Term Limits)
It is necessary for Arthur to seek a fourth term if the BLP is to stay in power as Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the previous heir-apparent, has for some reason fallen from popular favour both within and outside the BLP. She has even been the subject of hard-hitting, biting commentaries in the government-controlled newspapers which have in the past been quite supportive.
Mottley’s fall from popular support leaves the BLP with no obvious succession plan, so Arthur must toss his hat in the ring once more.
Like the citizens of Venezuela, Bajans must be alert to the BLP’s continuing quest to change the laws of Barbados for the party’s own narrow purposes.
Because whatever happens to Prime Minister Owen Arthur, there are those in the Barbados Labour Party who fear a change in government because of what will be exposed. These people will do anything, including perverting our highest laws, to protect themselves and to maintain power.