Look beyond the poll!

Inniss warns that elections are not all that matter

As Barbadians continue to await a date for general elections due here by June, one senior Government minister is warning that the upcoming poll is not all that matters.

Responding to news of the recent entrance of retired prostitute Natalie Natlee Harewood into the political arena and the subsequent formation of the Political Prostitutes Party (PPP), Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss said: “As much of the debate in our society today is about the pending elections, the number of political parties, the past or present profession of some of the candidates and several other matters, it is really heartening to know that there are still some in our midst that are prepared to engage their minds to discuss the financial and technological future of Barbados.”

And without going into detail about the various political developments, Inniss urged international business and financial services sector officials to stay focused on helping to grow the economy through the use of technology.

He was addressing last Friday’s opening of a high-level financial technology (Fintech) seminar organized by the Barbados International Business Association at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on the heels of the announcement by Harewood, a 36-year-old former prostitute, that she was throwing her hat in the political ring to contest the City of Bridgetown seat, held by Colonel Jeffrey Bostic of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

Just last week adult entertainment advocate Charles Spice Lewis created further intrigue when he announced his resignation as Harewood’s campaign manager and plans to start his own political movement – the PPP.

“Yes, that is correct. I have been developing plans and will launch a new party called the Political Prostitutes Party,” Lewis told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview last Wednesday.

In another surprise twist, Linda Field, who was scheduled to represent the Lynette Eastmond-led United Progressive Party (UPP) in St Lucy in the upcoming poll, announced that she was instead throwing her support behind the Mia Mottley-led BLP.

Field was the second candidate in as many months to leave the UPP. Last month the party fired its candidate for St Philip West Charleston Taylor, following a controversial social media post about the decriminalization of marijuana.

However, addressing the one-day seminar for experts in the financial technology sector, international business arena, regulatory officials and policymakers which explored a range of possibilities for blockchain technology use in Barbados and its advantages, and best practices, Inniss sought to pour cold water on the recent political happenings saying: “We need to spend much more time on matters such as these as we pull the nation upward and onwards.”

And while admitting that he was no expert on Fintech systems and blockchain technology, he promised that as long as he was minister with responsibility for the international business and financial services sector he would give full support to those who sought to increase economic activities through technology use.

Inniss also urged Barbadians not to be left behind in the global technological revolution saying, “Barbados needs more disruptive technology and technologists in our midst. We need to shake some things to the core, think and act outside of the box more”.

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