President of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla De Peiza conceded defeat after her party suffered a second consecutive 30-nil thrashing at the polls by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), admitting that the party will have to “regroup” and decide whether she would be the one to take it forward.
In circumstances reminiscent of the May 2018 general elections when the BLP had a clean sweep, the DLP failed to win a single seat in Wednesday’s polls, called a year and a half earlier than constitutionally due.
“The Democratic Labour Party will concede, as we must,” De Peiza said as she addressed the media at the party’s George Street headquarters in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
“Our only concern is that the voter turnout continues to be depressed and I do believe we have to take a serious look at that going forward, as to how we reclaim the confidence of our people in the process of democracy,” she said.
“Outside of that, as far as our team is concerned, we will regroup, we will decide, not tonight but sometime in the future, what it is that we’re doing,” she added.
De Peiza, who lost the race in the St Lucy constituency to Barbados Labour Party (BLP) incumbent Peter Phillips, said part of that decision would be who will lead the DLP.
“I do believe that for me, personally – the rest can speak for themselves – I am proud of what I have accomplished, along with them for the Democratic Labour Party,” she said.
De Peiza congratulated BLP leader Mia Mottley and her team on their victory.
However, she reiterated that among her concerns coming out of the general election were the timing of the polls and the low voter turnout.
“The voter turnout continues to be worrisome and we have to look for ways to address that before we find ourselves in a position where we’ve lost our democracy without intending it,” she added.