Barbados – Mara Thompson, the widow of the late Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson, is the new Member of Parliament for the St. John constituency, which is a stronghold of the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in Barbados.
Her husband held the seat until his death late last year from pancreatic cancer. She easily won the seat in a by-election in a landslide that saw her getting 4,613 votes (89 per cent); her opponent, Hudson Griffith of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), won 533 votes.
She did better than her late husband who won 4,300 votes in the 2008 election that put the DLP in office and made Thompson prime minister of the island.
“I am happy with the way in which the party threw itself behind me and worked in this by-election,” Mara Thompson said. “And I am happy that as of tomorrow I am the chief servant of St. John.”
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart called the victory an endorsement of the performance of the ruling party that came to office in 2008.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mara for the conduct of an impressive and high quality campaign, she demonstrated resilience of spirit and strength of character…the people of St. John can benefit from those two assets,” Stuart said.
Stuart said Opposition Leader Owen Arthur, who had suggested that the by-election would be a referendum on the three-year-old government, got a “thunderous rebuff”.
Arthur had suggested that Thompson, who was born in St Lucia, had no place in Barbadian politics.
“It was a judgement on the quality of politics which they brought to this campaign and the new depths to which they sunk,” the Prime Minister.