You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Barbados PM Mia Mottley sworn in after 2nd consecutive elections

Mottley, who pledged to focus on issues including financial security, nutrition, renewable energy projects and housing, said the island faces serious challenges in the next 10 to 15 years.


AP | PTI  |  San Juan (Puerto Rico) 

Photo: Reuters
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Photo: Reuters

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley was sworn in for a second term Thursday after her party appeared to have swept every legislative seat in the first the island nation held as a republic since casting off the British monarchy.

Mottley's Barbados Labor Party seemed to have secured all 30 seats in the House of Assembly, the lower house of the island's Parliament, giving the island's first female leader a second term as prime minister. A majority of 16 seats was required for a win.

Mottley achieved the same sweep when her party won in 2018.

The people of this nation have spoken with one voice, decisively, unanimously and clearly, she said in her celebratory speech before dawn on Thursday to a large crowd clad in red shirts.

Mottley, who pledged to focus on issues including financial security, nutrition, renewable energy projects and housing, said the island faces serious challenges in the next 10 to 15 years.

She noted that Barbados, an island of more than 300,000 people that has reported more than 37,000 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus, is still fighting the pandemic that has battered the economy and tourism sector of the one of the Caribbean's wealthier nations.

We have done well as a nation, but we are still not out of the woods, she said after her swearing-in.

Mottley said she would announce her Cabinet on Monday and declined to share details about any upcoming changes to government positions.

I'm going to sleep on all of that this weekend, she said. In life I've learned that you don't do things in extreme happiness or extreme anger, and that what is required is reflection and a little rest.

Leaders from around the region hailed the election results, including Carla Natalie Barnett, the secretary general of the Caribbean Community, a 15-member regional trade bloc, who congratulated Mottley on her resounding victory.

Mottley's main opponent, Verla De Peiza of the Democratic Labor Party, conceded defeat.

We've lost our democracy without intending it, she told local media and called the voter turnout depressive.

It was a reckless time to call an election, she said.

Mottley was criticised for calling a snap general election shortly after Barbados cut ties with Queen Elizabeth II in November and ceased to be a constitutional monarchy. The next had been scheduled for mid-2023.

More than 266,000 people were eligible to vote, but preliminary information suggests that only 50% participated. More than 5,700 were unable to vote because of COVID-19 infections, prompting one opposition candidate to seek an injunction prior to the election, which a court rejected.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, January 21 2022. 01:36 IST