by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, announced that Barbadians will elect a new government on January 19, 2022.
“I have decided that it would be in the interest of Barbados, our country, our home, that we recalibrate as a people behind one government and one leader. And let me say, whoever emerges as that leader I will support. I will do my utmost to promote Barbados and Barbadians in all that I say and do as I have always done in all of my public career and will continue to do until the Lord takes my breath. I would like to ask this of every Barbadian tonight, our country demands of us and our people deserve it from us,” said Mottley in an address to the Nation.
“We are currently divided. We are currently drifting philosophically and ideologically on quite a few things. I need for us to unite around a common cause. Unite behind a single government. Unite behind a single leader. And let us unite to fight the threats to our safety, our development and our prosperity.”
In the address to the nation on Monday evening (December 27), Mottley said she had advised President Sandra Mason to dissolve parliament with immediate effect.
“I further advised Her Excellency that she, not on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, but in her own right as President of the Republic of Barbados, issues rites for the holding of the new elections in Barbados.”
The current administration has been in power since May of 2018 and would have had another 18 months before an election had to be called according to the constitution. The Prime Minister said the move is not politically driven but in the people’s interest.
“Were I motivated solely by the need to survive; we could bask, my friends, in the glory of a 29-1 parliament and ride COVID out for the next 18 months. Defeating COVID would not be a benchmark; surviving it would be the acid test. Were I motivated solely by what is in the interest of the Barbados Labour Party, I would say run the innings down to the last ball and hedge my bets that by June of 2023, we would be emerging if not having already emerged from the brunt of the COVID pandemic. But my friends, my worry is now. I am concerned that if we start 2022 as a divided nation, we will stunt and frustrate our own progress and what we do today stands to affect this country for the next 20-30 years,” said Prime Minister Mottley.
“And we are willing to take the risk because we would rather depart, leaving Barbados on course to recovery than grapple for the next 18 months with a divided nation, not making the most of the opportunities that this new COVID environment presents. I am prepared to make those decisions even if it means forgoing the next 18 months of this government’s term that was received with 74 percent of the popular vote. Why? Because Barbados and Barbadians deserve better.”
Mottley also expressed that she is cognizant that this election will be held amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and has convened several meetings on carrying out this democratic process as safely as possible.
Nomination Day will be on January 3.
The January 2022 elections are set to be historic for the Caribbean island as it would be the first election since Barbados became a republic.
Watch Prime Minister Mottley’s full address here: