By Caribbean News Now contributor
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- General elections will be held in Barbados on Thursday, February 21, and Nomination Day is set for next Wednesday, February 6.
The dates were announced on Wednesday by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who said he had officially notified Governor General, Sir Elliott Belgrave, and the appropriate proclamation duly issued.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
Stuart, leader of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), will seek his first full term in office, having been appointed prime minister in October 2010 following the death of his predecessor, David Thompson.
The DLP said on Twitter that the party was “ready for the polls.”
In a statement, the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) said that it had a “plan and a vision to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of Barbadians, create jobs for our people and bring down the crippling cost of living.”
The BLP, led by former prime minister Owen Arthur, is likely to be encouraged by what seems to be a clear trend in the region over the last two years of opposition parties regaining power, including the People’s National Party (PNP) in Jamaica; the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) in The Bahamas; the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) in Bermuda; the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the British Virgin Islands; the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) in Saint Lucia; and, most recently in Nevis when, just last week, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) emerged victorious in early elections.
Elections are also due to be held in Grenada just two days before Barbados, when the opposition New National Party (NNP) is widely expected to return to office.