By Alexis R. Milan
The United Democratic Party (UDP) was manifestly jubilant in announcing this week that Dr. Carla Barnett, former Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank, had agreed to become the party’s standard bearer for the Freetown Division.
She will be competing head on with Francis Fonseca, the Leader of the People’s United Party.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow called it a historic day and said it gave a monumental boost to the UDP’s momentum. Barrow had high praise for Barnett, calling her one of the highest caliber candidates available.
Barrow said the UDP was proud to have her represent their banner, adding that her presence illustrates which party is really about change and improvement.
Barrow said the UDP is fully in support of Barnett’s Freetown candidacy. He said they discussed it with current Freetown care-taker, Lee Mark Chang and Chang has given his full support to Barnett.
Barnett said her decision to enter electoral politics was based on her passion for public service and working directly with people.
She added that she had been asked to enter electoral politics in the past but she didn’t feel the time was right until now. Barnett said she is excited to begin her work in Freetown.
The new standard bearer said she believes that her experience and knowledge has prepared her candidacy. She believes that there is a realistic possibility of beating People’s United Party Leader, Francis Fonseca who her party says doesn’t have a strong presence in that constituency.
Barnett was appointed as Belize Tourism Board Chairman in early 2014. Prior to that she had been serving as vice president of the Caribbean Development Bank in Barbados.
Barnett also served as Financial Secretary under the People’s United Party (PUP) but resigned after a major scandal rocked that administration.