BLP turns to elders for solution to Dr Agard saga

There’s hope of an out-of-court settlement in the Dr Maria Agard expulsion case.

Barbados TODAY understands that the matter is currently engaging Barbados Labour Party (BLP) officials at a very senior level, who are said to have no appetite for seeing the party’s affairs drag out any further in the public domain.

Today, the name of party stalwart and former representative for Christ Church West Sir Henry Forde was also being mentioned as a possible eleventh hour mediator in the dispute, which has pitted Dr Agard against the Mia Mottley-led National Council of the BLP.

However, with both Sir Henry and Mottley currently said to be out of the country, sources said it may take longer than a week to broker an amicable settlement which would nullify the need for any legal course of action.

Just yesterday Dr Agard issued a seven day ultimatum to the party, warning that her dismissal should be overturned or else she would be heading to the law courts for redress.

The threatened move has been sharply criticized by two leading political scientists, who warned that though the embattled Christ Church West MP had a constitutional right to take her case to the law courts, the true power of a political party did not reside there.

Dr George Belle, who is a former lecturer in Political Science at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, stressed that the issue was one of power relations and not law,

“In that sense the BLP would have to make a decision ultimately that is in its interpretation, in its political interest. If the BLP is seen as not giving Dr Agard a fair hearing and therefore not in the political interest of the party, then it would have to concede that and back off from the conclusion they came to so far.”

However, he cautioned that the law courts could not dictate that the BLP must “associate” with Dr Agard.

“The law courts can only say that the procedures used to get rid of her were not according to natural justice.

“The law courts could indicate that, but the BLP can say it has vested interest and reason why it had to act in the way it did because of the party’s interests.”

Mottley, in giving reasons for the action taken against Dr Agard on November 22, said the Christ Church West MP was not a team player and had engaged in “inappropriate” conduct, following four years of strained relations between Dr Agard and her branch executive.

However, Dr Agard countered this assessment yesterday, contending that at the root of the issue is the fact that she “dared to speak out” against her leader, who she likened to a bully.

“I dared to speak out against the unconstitutional, the unauthorized and bullying tactics of a political leader who is not accustomed to be told that she is wrong, even when she contemptuously violates the very constitution she espouses to uphold,” charged Dr Agard, who also described the BLP leadership as “tyrannical and autocratic”.

However, Dr Belle cautioned that “going to court does not resolve the matter”.

His position was supported by fellow political scientist, Dr Tennyson Joseph who argued that the Christ Church West MP was attempting to turn a political problem into a technical legal problem.

“I think that is an error many younger politicians tend to make. I am not sure what kind of decision she is expecting from the court. So if the court says the party was wrong to expel [Dr] Agard, is the court going to demand that the political party accepts an individual the party has said it is not going to accept?”

He explained this would be “an untenable situation” since there were no moral or correct political decisions if a political party decided upon a candidate for a particular seat, or to expel a member.

“A party can do so on ideological grounds, even though I do not think that is the case with [Dr] Agard. So imagine a court imposing someone on a party and that person’s ideology is quite different,” Dr Joseph emphasized.

He suggested that certain people who he did not identify, having recognized the situation as a political issue, felt it was in their interest to make things “as messy and as muddy” as possible.

“That is the only commonsense that I can see in that legal challenge. In spite of the fact that all of these people would have understood that it is power relations and not a legal issue, it is in the interest of some people and a clique to have the issue in court so that it can play out as if there is instability in the BLP.”

Meantime, while stating that he felt Dr Agard “has a strong case”, former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) deputy Prime Minister Sir Phillip Greaves said it would be difficult for the BLP to embrace her if she carried out her threat to take the matter to court.

“I honestly feel she has a strong case if she decides to go that route . . . that is the route of vindicating herself legally through the court; but I don’t see her doing that [and] at the same time being received back into the party,” Sir Phillip, a senior lawyer, told Barbados TODAY.

At the same time he advised the party elders not to get involved in the dispute, saying the Christ Church West MP should work out her own solution.

Sir Phillip added that the way the situation was handled left a lot to be desired, but did not think it would result in Mottley’s ousting.

Only yesterday, Dr Agard told a Press conference she intended to take her expulsion to court to have it determine whether the party’s decision to dismiss her was fair and just.

Barbados TODAY has learnt that attorney-at-law Roger Forde QC, may be retained by the BLP to present its case if the matter goes to court.

When contacted today Forde appeared set for a lengthy battle.

“I may be retained,” he told Barbados TODAY. “If I am retained by the BLP I have promised to take the matter right up to the Caribbean Court of Justice because I do not think there is any merit in the case.”

13 Responses to Last-ditch

  1. BaJan boy December 4, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Philip Greaves will say that because he wants to made it muddy so that his dumb neice has a chance at winning the seat. Maria has been disrespectful to a party which has been kind to her and she is ungrateful,disrespectful and arrogant. She cannot be a part of the party now based on all that has happened and needs to move on. Her advisor and former leader is intent on keeping Mia away from leading this country as though he has the keys to Prime Ministership in Barbados. He along with his coneys are a wicked bunch but will not succeed in their attempts I think bajans are conscious to their acts as well as the fact that they are suffering under Freundel Suart and have no choice to go for an intelligent and proven leader in Mia Mottley.

    • Basil graham December 4, 2015 at 7:22 am


  2. dave December 4, 2015 at 6:48 am

    She is not a Team player. She is saying things about the Leader in public. Who the hell Maria think she is ? Chelsea Clinton? Mighty Gabby ? Bill Clinton ? The Dali Lama ? Donald Trump? Jodie Foster ? Taylor Swift ? Ivor ? Ninja-Man ? Rockefeller ? Barack Obama ? Haile Selassie I -The First in a Babylon System eating rice cake while conniving around the mulberry bush ??-

    I can see it now. Mia stands up while others sit and in her deep voice -the one she puts on because I know Mia and she has a tiny little voice when she mek ready and she has that Big Booming voice when she meks ready too. So picture this -Mia stands up while others sit and in her -Booming Voice (Selection) –states -clearly unequivocally , concisely precisely and without let or hindrance, deviation or hesitation :: “IT IS ME OR MARIA -Choose one–Sixty Million ways to skin- a- cuffin –choose one

    Maria -Its all over >
    You represent a generation that is ignorant of the machinations of the past. Your understanding of how things worked and how things work is deeply flawed to the 10th ugus. You have nothing left– its OVER !!!!

    David (Not Commissiong)

  3. Samuel Morrison December 4, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Mia has always been smart over the years. She is dictatorial and a will make a worst leader than any who has gone before her. Stop trying to kill the messengers and listen to the message. Miss Mottley will devastate Barbados.

  4. rick hart December 4, 2015 at 8:33 am

    I personally believe that the Barbados Labour Party shouldn’t do everything in its power to bring current Negative publicity to a conclusion. This is not in his interests to have in The spotlight to be dragged out for any prolonged period of time.

    However, this will only remedy the symptoms. If my understanding of the situation is correct as outlined by the MP for Christchurch West this may not be the end of this ongoing saga.

    There will have to be fundamental changes in the line of communication from the top down.

  5. rick hart December 4, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I personally believe that the Barbados Labour Party shouldn’t do everything in its power to bring current Negative publicity to a conclusion. This is not in his interests to have in The spotlight to be dragged out for any prolonged period of time.

    However, this will only remedy the symptoms. If my understanding of the situation is correct as outlined by the MP for Christchurch West this may not be the end of this ongoing saga.

    There will have to be fundamental changes in the line of communication from the top down.

    The leadership may want to consider renewing its relationship with its members ultimately to heal any divisions which may remain

  6. Adrian Hinds December 4, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Using cut throat dominoes analogy: Mia Mottley has a bad hand but play she must, and the results so far is not in her favor. To overcome a bad hand and win she has to rely solely on the mistakes of the other players; as such she is at their mercy as they have the upper hand- they do not mind losing as longs Mia does not win.

  7. DAP December 4, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Bajan Boy, Basil and Dave if Mia was right why the elders of the party have to try and correct the problem now before it get to the law courts,try not to be so one-sided and call a spade a spade when you see it,we all can tell that you all are die hard Mia fans but if she is wrong you must also let her know.

  8. dave December 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    DAP -I am no Mia fan. You people always assume a lot of nonsense. I look at things objectively. My personal opinion is that women need to know their place and should not be leaders. That is my personal opinion but it does not mean that I cannot judge the situation objectively. I feel that women create a lot of problems and are too difficult to deal with and do not understand a lot about life and how things work- and are responsible for a lot of tension and confusion in the society, the work-place and elsewhere so I am no Mia fan. Why cant one comment without being labelled this is that ? I hate it when you people do that. Just deal with what you see here . You do not know if I am a Mia fan or not. How can make such a statement? You simply do not know ! Dont argue !! Why Bajans always want to potray themselves as God and that they know things , that they know this and that. You know nothing. You do not even know what is going to happen the next minute-hour -day etc–So cut the crap !!–DAP !

  9. Adrian Hinds December 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Dominioes analogy: As a Leader in westminster politics you have to play partners dominoes; however, doing so at a cut-throat table is a fools errand; being place at a cut-throat table is the position of a weak leader. It should be seen as signal that you are not wanted; to stay is to guarantee a manufactured six-love. LOL!

  10. Adrian Hinds December 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Mia may want to rethink her association with Peter Wickham and Dr. Bell if they are indeed political advisers to her. There has been a huge misreading of the so-called tea leaves on this one. 🙂

  11. dave December 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Adrian ! I think that you are out to sea on this one bro

  12. Francis December 4, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Oh please!!! Mia will NEVER be Prime Minister of this country.
    That is a fact !!


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