Mia Mottley takes office as Prime Minister of Barbados for a second term

Mia Mottley of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) was re-elected as Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados for a second consecutive term. Her party, the BLP, won a resounding victory in the general elections held on January 19

January 24, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Mia Mottley of the Barbados Labor Party (BLP) was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados for a second consecutive term on January 20. Photo: Prensa Latina

The ruling Barbados Labor Party (BLP) won a landslide victory in the general elections held in the Caribbean country on January 19. According to the final results issued by electoral authorities on January 20, the BLP won all 30 seats in the House of Assembly, the lower house of the parliament, repeating the clean sweep of the May 2018 elections. With the overwhelming triumph of the BLP, Mia Mottley was re-elected as Prime Minister of the Republic of Barbados for a second consecutive term.

“We stand today on the morning of the 20th of January confident that the people of this nation have spoken with one voice decisively, unanimously and clearly,” Mottley said in her victory speech from the headquarters of the BLP in the capital Bridgetown. She thanked the people for their support and vowed to continue working for the development of the country. “We want to thank each and every one of the people for the confidence that they continue to repose in us to be able to lead this country first to safety and then to prosperity” added Mottley.

The same day, Mottley was sworn in by President Sandra Mason for the period 2022-2027. She pledged to continue working for the betterment of Barbadians. “We shall treat it (the mandate) with care as we have done before and we shall endeavor to continue the transformation process if our country is to be able to meet the challenges that we expect to face in the next 10 to 15 years. (…) Apart from those challenges there are still the aspirations of development that we set as a nation when we became independent in 1966: closing the development gap, eliminating poverty from our landscape, ensuring that our children can be educated to the maximum and to the best for their ability, ensuring that our people have affordable, equitable access to health care, and above all else, that our people shall remain owners in their land not tenants,” she told the local media following her inauguration.

The elections were the first since Barbados became a Republic last year. During Mottley’s previous term, on September 29, 2021, the Barbados’ Parliament unanimously voted to amend the Constitution to end the country’s association with the British crown, and acquire the new status of a Republic. On November 30, 2021, Governor General Sandra Mason assumed the presidency of the country, ending the status of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

Mottley received widespread international recognition last year for her firm stand on climate change. During the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, in her speech, Mottley told the leaders of the world’s largest economies to “try harder” to avert catastrophic climate change. She proposed to create an international financial settlement for addressing climate change, from those countries that are most responsible to pay to those on the frontline of the climate crisis. Barbados is one of the smallest and most climate vulnerable countries. Global heating poses an existential threat to island countries like Barbados.

Read more: Global, moral, strategic leadership is urgent says PM of Barbados

International greetings

Several heads of state, government authorities and regional organizations congratulated Mottley on her re-election. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Philip Pierre were among the first ones to send their best wishes.

Cuba President Díaz-Canel, in a tweet, congratulated Barbados’ PM Mottley and reiterated “the will to continue strengthening the ties of brotherhood and cooperation between the two countries.”

Venezuela’s head of state, Maduro, also sent his greetings through Twitter. “Our peoples are united by strong ties of brotherhood, friendship and mutual cooperation. We are sending a fraternal hug from Venezuela,” he tweeted.

Saint Lucia’s PM Pierre also congratulated his Barbadian counterpart. “The people of Barbados have spoken and have entrusted you and your team to continue to put them first. I look forward to working with you as we advance the regional agenda,” he wrote in a tweet.

Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness also felicitated Mottley and said that “we are confident that under your leadership, Jamaica and Barbados will continue to share strong bilateral relationships.”

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a bloc of the 15 Caribbean nations, also congratulated Mottley for the resounding victory. “The overwhelming success of the Barbados Labor Party indicates that the people of the country have every confidence in your stewardship and look forward to your continued leadership to guide them on a path that would ensure their progress,” said CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett in a statement. She also stated that the Secretariat “looks forward to working with the Prime Minister again in deepening and strengthening regional integration and in confronting the many challenges besetting the Community at present.”