BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - Prime Minister (PM) Freundel Stuart might have found himself under fire from within his political party, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), following a Caribbean Development Research Services Inc (CADRES) poll, which might have revealed that the PM has fallen in popularity with the next general elections in Barbados constitutionally due within thirteen months.

It has been reported that a CADRES poll performed by pollster Peter Wickham, sometime in June, is one of the main contributors to the furore within the ruling party. The poll was privately requested, and its results haven't been revealed to the general public, but in some circles it is believed that PM Freundel Stuart is the least favoured candidate for the post of PM, while Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler was most favoured.

In the dailies it is being reported today (December 11) that eleven government members of parliament (MPs) - including seven senior Cabinet ministers - yesterday affixed their signatures to a formal letter and immediately dispatched it to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart requesting an "urgent" audience. One column has asked whether there is a rift in the ruling party.

"Let me put it to you this way. The only places in Barbados where I know for certain that there is unquestioned unanimity is Westbury Cemetery, Bushy Park Cemetery and all the other churchyards in Barbados where everybody is dead," he told the media during a Press conference at Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday, after arriving from the CARICOM-Cuba Summit, in Trinidad and Tobago.

"I would be very unhappy if, as Prime Minister of Barbados, as president of the DLP and as chairman of the Cabinet, if everybody around me agreed with everything I did and every way I approached [things] because I would feel very unsafe.

"I feel that it is healthy for people to express themselves if they feel that a different kind of approach is necessary; that they express themselves on that.

"That happens - has happened in the DLP for as long as I have known it, and long may it continue. I think it is healthy." continued Stuart.