A Landslide Victory of Confidence Reaffirms Mia Mottley as Prime Minister of Barbados, by Peter Boyc
Disclaimer: [I was born in Barbados and worked there as a journalist until my immigration to the Unisted States (US), Christmas Day, 1984. On the island, I was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).]
Barbadians went to the polls on January 19, two-days-ago in a snap election and they resoundingly reaffirmed great support for the island's first female Prime Minister Mia Mottley as they voted all 30-seats in the Barbados Parliament to Mottley and her Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
It was the second landslide victory for the 56-year-old Mottley and her party. They previously accomplished a similar feat back in the General Election of 2018, however one-member of the BLP crossed the Parliament aisle and became the lone parliamentary Opposition.
Wednesday's vote was called some 18-months earlier than the constitutional deadline and it came upon the November 30, 2021 declaration of Republic by the island-nation, which ended more than 400-years of British sovereign leadership despite the country's Independence on November 30, 1966. Queen Elizabeth II has been replaced by a Barbadian head of State, Sandra Mason, who previously had been the Queen's appointed Governor General on the island.
That Mottley and her BLP were that overwhelmly victorius over the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and other smaller political parties, greatly speaks of the confidence Barbadians have placed in their first female prime minister, the nations's eighth leader since 1966. Prime Minister Mottley has achieved international acclaimed ever since her frank ramarks last year at COP26, Glasglow, Scotland, where she deemed any inaction and delay on Climate Change as a death sentence for small island nations. Her stark remarks resulted in much respect from world leaders, including a hand-in-hand walk with United States President Joe Biden.
Mottley in 2018 inherited an almost bankrupt treasury from the former DLP government, which had led from 2008. Negotiations and confidence from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has now netted Barbados much needed fiscal relief. Yet, fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has severely blighted the nation's 'bread-and-butter' tourism industry. Some international investments have rolled in to assist on infrastructural projects and Mottley has promised to build 10 000 affordable homes for Bajans.
The Prime Minister and her new Cabinet will face the reality of meeting IMF obligations via a six percent growth on GDP. And with a resounding mandate of confidence from the people, Mottley must now deliver on relief from a still pestering COVID-19 pandemic as well as increase investments in order to employ and to house thousands of Barbadians. The tenacity of Mia Mottle could certainly deliver the goods and services needed to sustain Barbados. May God Bless Barbados and all its people.