Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has chalked up another historical first by leading her ruling Barbados Labour Party(BLP) to an unprecedented second consecutive clean-sweep at the polls.
In snap elections held on Wednesday January 19th, Mottley’s BLP again won all 30 seats in the Barbados parliament.
And again suffering the rejection of the Barbados electorate was the Democratic Labour Party(DLP) which Mottley had swept from power in 2018 by the same margin.
Addressing cheering supporters at a victory rally the day following her second electoral thrashing of the DLP she declared, “We stand today on the morning of the 20th of January confident that the people have spoken with one voice - decisively, unanimously and clearly."
It’s another resounding victory Barbados’ first female prime minister whose international profile has been soaring with persuasive speeches at major global forums.
Her powerful stance on climate change at the recent COP26 summit, and on socio-economic challenges for small states at the United Nations General Assembly has earned her the respect of the major world powers and developing nations alike.
Just last November, Prime Minister Mottley, an attorney, added to her growing impressive list of historic achievements when she removed her independent nation from under the remaining vestiges of the British monarchy by declaring Barbados a republic.
But her significant political victories and soaring international profile aside, Prime Minister Mottley is still faced with the huge task of turning around Barbados’ tourism-based economy, which like many other countries, has been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the campaign her stewardship of the economy
and management of the pandemic came under scrutiny from her opponents, but that she was again able to lead the BLP to such a resounding victory seems to have been the ultimate vote of confidence.
The polls were constitutionally due by next year but Prime Minister Mottley called a snap election seeking to consolidate her hold on power and the electorate’s approval of her policies which include tough COVID protocols that were unpopular in some quarters.
The main challenger, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP aka Dems), had attempted to block the snap election by seeking a last-minute court injunction in the past week on the grounds that it would effectively disenfranchise around 5,000 voters in COVID isolation.
But the court disagreed and the election went ahead.
In her concession speech, the new DLP leader, Verla De Peiza, said that the party will now have to “regroup”.
“The Democratic Labour Party will concede, as we must,” she said shortly after the final vote count was announced on Wednesday night.
She indicated that the party must now determine how it recovers from another 30-0 thrashing at the hands of Mia Mottley’s BLP, including whether or not it needs another change of leadership.
27 Jan, 2020
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15 Sep, 2021