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Barbados’ Prime Minister defends date

Published:Thursday | December 27, 2007 | 12:52 PM

Barbados’ Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, has defended his decision to name January 15 as the Election Day. He says that the government’s timetable did not give him a lot of choices.

The 5-year anniversary of the Barbados Labour Party’s third term in office is in May. Mr. Arthur says that January was the realistic period to go to the polls because a later date might interfere with the preparation of the government’s 2008 budget. The budget must be approved by Parliament by March.

The opposition Democratic Labour Party and the People’s Empowerment Party have questioned the election date saying it interfered with the sacred Christmas calendar. Prime Minister Arthur says he is confident of a victory at the polls.

Mr. Arthur is leading his party in its bid for a fourth consecutive term in government.