Barbados: Prime Minister Mia Mottley Calls Snap Elections For January 19. 2021

Barbados PM Mia Mottley

Barbados Today- December 27, 2021

Barbadians will head to the polls on January 19, a year before elections are constitutionally due.

In the last general elections held here on May 24, 2018, Mottley led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a commanding victory over the then ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP)  sweeping all 30 seats in the Parliament.

But since then, one of the legislators, Bishop Joseph Atherley, left to become Opposition Leader.

 Barbadians are going to the polls in just over three weeks to elect a new government. 

The surprise announcement was made this evening by Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a national address from Ilaro Court.

Mottley revealed January 19, 2022, as the election date, with Nomination Day being January 3.

General elections were constitutionally due to be held in 2023.

Mottley led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a historic 30-0 whitewash of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the May 2018 general elections.

It will be the first general elections since Barbados became a Republic on November 30.

“I earlier this evening met with her Excellency the Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, President of Barbados and advised that she dissolve the current Barbados 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 issue writs for the holding of the new elections in Barbados,” Mottley declared.

The Prime Minister said she made the decision to call the elections because she was “worried” about the divisiveness in the country.

She called on Barbadians to “unite around a common cause, a single Government and a single leader.”

“My worry going into 2022 revolves around the impact of the silly season on our tone and our tenor as a nation. The impact of the silly season on our actions and our utterances. The impact of the silly season on our ability to think Barbados and what is best for this little paradise in the middle of the sea, what is best for our future as a nation.

“I believe that we thrived and succeeded in 2018 and 2019 because an election was behind us and we united as a force against first, the fiscal and economic threats, and then later the onslaught of COVID. I believe that as a united Barbados that we will and have always been unbeatable…” Mottley said.

“Were it not for the emergence of the silly season, persons in Barbados in my view would therefore be calling a spade a spade. They would be saying what is right and what is wrong. They would be supporting policies and programmes designed to protect and safeguard this country, its inhabitants and those who do us the honour of visiting as vacationers or on business. That is why I am concerned that we should not enter 2022 as a divided nation.”

The Prime Minister said even though the country was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she believed a successful and safe election could be held.

Pointing out that “Omicron is coming and it is going to impact us”, Mottley said, “I want us to unite as a people and to work as one.”

“It is coming, and I need Barbadians to approach and fight Omicron as one country, as one nation, as one people,” she said.

She disclosed she would have meetings with the Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the COVID Cabinet Sub-Committee for advice on how to structure the voting process in the midst of COVID.

Mottley said she would also ensure that the Leader of the Opposition Bishop Joseph Atherley and herself are fully briefed after these meetings.

She also pledged to update the country “in a matter of days on any agreed-upon changes with respect to simplifying the conduct of elections in this environment.”

Mottley suggested that changes could include an increase in the number of rooms to accommodate polling at facilities.

“So, for example, at the St Leonard’s Secondary School we could shorten the alphabetical size of a station so that there are shorter times because there are more rooms within which people can vote,” she explained.

The Prime Minister stressed she wanted Barbadians to “recalibrate as a people behind one Government and one leader.”

“And let me say, whoever emerges as that leader, I will support …Let us unite to fight the threats to our safety, our development and our prosperity,” Mottley added.

(randybennett@barbadostoday.bb)

DLP’s De Peiza questions timing of January election, urges Barbadians to vote for change

DLP’s – Verla De Peiza

President of the Democratic Labour Party Verla De Peiza Monday questioned the timing of the January 19, 2022 general elections announced by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

Below is the full text of the statement.

Fellow Barbadians,

This is a dark day for our country. Truly we are in the silly season – but our people are not silly. In the midst of a pandemic and Omicron threatening, whilst still under a state of emergency, there is no compelling argument for an election to be called 17 months out, except to be self-serving. This is not what we expect of sound leadership.

It is clear that the government of the day has succumbed to feelings of panic and that the nation’s first call which is its people’s safety has been set aside to pursue selfish ends which expose our people to great harm and possible death.

The Democratic Labour Party appeals to our people to seize this opportunity of relief and arm themselves with courage, determination and hope and rally to the polls – safely – to exercise their franchise and send a clear and decisive message to the outgoing government that their wellbeing is paramount. And as One People One Barbados send a clear and decisive message that the opportunity for change has come. We agree that the nation is divided; but in a climate of 29-1, we must ask ourselves who divided the nation.

Let us be frank; Mia does not care; Mia Scares. But do not let that deter you from summoning every single ounce of strength in your being, indeed your right and your reason, to do what is best for Barbados. Vote on the day for a change to a government that puts the best interest of its people first. The Democratic Labour Party looks forward to being your standard-bearer, come January 20, 2022.

To be clear: our Party built Blackman & Gollop multi-purpose facility and Best dos Santos lab ahead of a pandemic. That is the foresight that we need now. We recall the days when basic services were not available because that day is today: water woes continue in St Lucy and the other rural parishes and up today electricity was off in St Philip. Unprecedented in recent times, our pensioners who took a significant hit with BERT suffered further indignity by going through this Christmas season without their pension. We wear our debt like a millstone about the neck on behalf of our children and even their children.

In making your decision at this seminal moment in our history I want you to ask yourself these questions: Are you better off now than you were in 2018? Are you finding it easier to feed your families? Did you expect after $400M on EduTech that we would be scrambling with online learning? Hyatt could have been completed by now, were it not subject to political shenanigans.

If there were such faith in projected projects in the next few months then elections would be scheduled after they become reality. Warmed over promises will not do this time. Our people will do more than watch this time. Because we have learned the lessons of the past, and we know how dangerous it is to have a one-party state.

Therefore, my fellow Barbadians this is your moment to have your say. It is your moment to send a message that a One-Party state will not cut it. This is your moment to collectively guide this country away from this strange form of governance and government. Together we must arm ourselves with our faith, the guidance of Almighty God and the determination to save our country. Go out on the 19th of January and with your pens, make indelible mark to signal enough is enough.

Over the coming days the DLP will lay out its case for why our rejuvenated, young and committed team is best placed to take this country forward; why we must never have a one-party state; and why we must always keep the voices, concerns and aspirations of our people at the centre of our social conscience. Our policies are designed to elevate our people and we look forward to the opportunity in the coming days to take you into our confidence.

God bless Barbados.

Verla De Peiza

President, Democratic Labour Party

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Comments

  • guyaneseonline  On 12/28/2021 at 12:47 pm

    VIDEO
    Address to the Nation by the Prime Minister of Barbados (Dec. 27, 2021)

  • brandli62  On 12/28/2021 at 4:06 pm

    While I have loads of respect for Mis Mottley, especially for campaigning to turn Barbados into a republic, I am not sure whether this election was really necessary. Her party, the Barbados Labor Party, controlled all 30 seats…. The only rational is that she wants to go into history as the PM elected since Barbados became a Republic on November 30, 2021.

    I would not be surprised, if her party were to loose seats.

  • wally n  On 12/28/2021 at 4:29 pm

    She is stuck selling a product, not many people want anymore.Prediction time
    Chinese Satellite, should have linked up with Guyana, a long time ago.你死了

  • Linda  On 12/29/2021 at 8:53 am

    Personally I feel she has an Agenda and wants to ensure that she locks down another win to complete that Agenda. A lot of development approval in the works that need to be seen through to completion….campaign promises made to big business in exchange for financial backing. It’s the usual stuff that happens in elections.

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