By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tues. Dec. 28, 2021: Fresh from dumping the Queen of England as its head of state and becoming the world’s newest Republic, the Caribbean nation of Barbados will be going to the polls in January.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley last night called a snap general election for January 19, 2022, in a radio and television broadcast to the nation, 18 months before her first term in office is due to end.
In a 37-minute radio and television broadcast, Mottley, the first woman to head a government in Barbados, said that in recent days, she had observed what she termed “the silly season” defining how Barbadians regarded the future socio-economic development of the island, at a time when it was also dealing with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We should not go into 2022 as a divided nation,” she said, adding that “were I motivated solely by the need to survive, we could bask 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 motivate 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 best 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.”
Nomination day will be on January 3rd.
The main opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP), however, slammed Mottley as uncaring for calling the election in the midst of a pandemic and urged supporters to boot the ruling Barbados Labour Party, (BLP), out of office.
The DLP, which was swept out of office in 2018 by a 30-nil margin, described the move as “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,” said DLP president, Verla De Peiza.
“Let us be frank; Mia does not care; Mia Scares,” she added. “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.”