Unease in BLP’s Christ Church West camp
There are reports of serious internal rumblings within the Christ Church West constituency of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
Barbados TODAY understands that at a meeting of the BLP’s National Executive Council (NEC) Thursday night, the party’s area representative Dr Maria Agard raised strong exception to what she saw as undue interference in the inner workings of her constituency branch.
The Shadow Minister of Health expressed particular unease over a proposal by some branch executives to convene, without reference to her, a meeting to discuss the 2013 general election results in Christ Church West, which saw Dr Agard narrowly defeating the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) candidate Verla DePeiza in what has traditionally been a run away BLP constituency.
Party sources say Dr Agard, who got 2,340 votes to DePeiza’s 1,808 and independent candidate Taan Abed’s 374, is now forced to look over her shoulder with BLP general secretary Dr Jerome Walcott, who lost by over 600 votes to the DLP’s John Boyce in neighbouring Christ Church South, now said to be looking west.
Dr Agard, a first time MP who has recently been grappling with some personal health challenges, still feels she has a strong political future ahead of her and remains adamant that she is not about to walk away from her constituents.
Last night, the matter of representation for Christ Church West was not on the agenda of the NEC meeting.
However, in the absence of party leader Mia Mottley, chairman Dale Marshall reportedly allowed Dr Agard to fully ventilate her concerns on the issue, with reference being made to Sections 81 and 82 of the BLP Constitution, which allows council members to discipline members of the branch executive. Internal sources say the Christ Church West MP also received strong support from members of the NEC which took a decision to suspend Sunday’s branch meeting, which was to be addressed by pollster Peter Wickham.
When contacted, Dr Agard, who is a practising dentist, said she was busy with a patient at the time. Wickham said he was unaware of the situation and, in any case, he felt there were more important matters for Barbados TODAY to look into. Marshall could not be reached for comment.