Ready to debate

opposition leader willing to face PM head to head

by Latoya Burnham

Barbados Labour Party Leader Owen Arthur is ready to meet Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in public debates.

But they have to be organised by all the media houses in concert and not just by the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.

Arthur made his statements this morning at the Roland Edwards Primary School a few moments after being nominated for the ninth time to represent the constituency of St. Peter.

He had entered the school environs about half-hour earlier at about 11:30 a.m., with a large crowd of supporters and tuk band entertainment, to screaming, chanting balconies packed with school children. The atmosphere was akin to the kind of celebration that heralds a successful announcement at the end of an election campaign.

But the former Prime Minister had strong views on the opening up of the local television market, in light of the fact that he believes a public debate would fare better if led by all media rather than the lone television station he believes has been biased toward Government.

“I have told CBC that I would be happy to be engaged but I am not going to let the CBC organise anything for me. CBC, I believe, has polluted public life in this constituency by allowing itself to be used as an agency of propaganda by the Democratic Labour Party…

“So if the rest of the entire media can be involved in putting together a debate, I would love to take on Freundel, if you can get him to wake up, but I would love it,” he stated.

The politician of 28 years said he would not allow such until candidates of the BLP were given fair and equal treatment by that media, and furthermore he said under a Labour Party government, the market would be opened to others.

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