So with the Dangriga by-election out of the way, anticipation turns to the date for a general election. It is constitutionally due by June of 2017 but is expected to be called much earlier than that. In fact, if Minister Anthony Martinez had his way, there would be no rest for the Elections and Boundaries Department, or for voters, as he feels the party must take advantage of its extensive goodwill with the electorate.
Anthony Martinez, UDP Ground Commander – “In my view, the flag almost reach di top and when ih reach di top da just wa matta ah how fast ih could come down or how slow and so I think ih almost reach di top and if I were the Prime Minister, I’d say let’s go tomorrow for the elections, that da my view.”
Prime Minister Barrow, who alone holds the power to set the date, did not offer any hints on Wednesday night. He did say, however, that he expects they will be peaceful, after some rather ugly clashes in the Culture Capital on Wednesday.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister – “I hope not. This was something of a last stand for the PUP. They needed to win this and you see that they brought out droves of people, hundreds and hundreds of people from across the country and that is as it should have been because for them it was really do or die. In that kind of a climate, their people were feeling both muscular and desperate and so you would expect that the tension would be higher than normal. When the general election comes, then you’re talking about all the individual constituencies having to deal with their own individual elections so, you can’t have this kind of circumstance and I hope that when that day comes as is usual and traditional in this country, we’re going to have peaceful general elections.”
And before elections are called, the Government intends to spend a million in Dangriga on promised infrastructural developments.
Hon. Dean Barrow – “Well remember, you know that before we knew there was going to be a by-election, I had already agreed with the mayor and Papa Mena and because I said at the time of the last budget, that given what had been happening in Dangriga and that there was a change in the municipal governance, that we would be doing more for Dangriga and we had already agreed on a program of works worth a million dollars. Now, it hasn’t gotten started yet. So, there’s not going to be any need to put any more money into Dangriga additionally, since that million dollars is still to be spent.”