BLP told to apply pressure on Govt
Political scientist Peter Wickham is advising the Opposition to keep Government’s feet to the fire on the CLICO debacle to get relief for thousands of affected policyholders.
He has also suggested that Mara Thompson, the widow of late Prime Minister David Thompson who represented CLICO as an attorney before becoming the country’s leader, owes the affected policyholders an explanation.
It has been rumoured that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) MPs plan to bring a no-confidence motion against the Freundel Stuart administration, but Wickham said the Opposition, which is staying away from Parliament over issues related to the Speaker of the House, needs to “apply pressure on the Government for them to come up with a solution”.
“I am concerned, not about how the Opposition will get back [in Parliament] I am concerned about how the people who are shareholders and who have taken out annuities and other policies are going to get back their money. That is what I am concerned about,” Wickham said in an interview with Barbados TODAY.
“They [the DLP] didn’t debate the last [no confidence motion] so I don’t see how it would make a difference . . . They will say this one is as irrelevant as the last one.”
He insisted that Government had to be held to the promise it made to take action for the benefit of CLICO policyholders who lost out significantly when the company collapsed.
“They need to fix the problem. They made a commitment in the last election that they would ensure that the matter is resolved and they need to resolve it. And I think they need to do it sooner rather than later,” he said.
“The Prime Minister has made a commitment consistent with the fact that he has an intention to ensure that people at least get their principle back. I think he needs to make good on that sooner rather than later.”
Asked if he believed the legacy of late prime minister Thompson had been tarnished, Wickham said the jury was still out.
“What I can tell you is that I don’t think that the DLP has done a whole lot to salvage his legacy. I feel that they could have certainly been more proactive in terms of dealing with his legacy and this issue,” he said.
Wickham said he believed Thompson’s widow, who also succeeded him as St John MP, should explain “the nature of her relationship” with the CLICO “mess”.