BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Prime Minister Mia Mottley tonight (Monday night) announced a snap election for Jan. 19 next year, insisting that she would not allow Barbados to enter 2022 as a divided nation.
“I urge each and every one of you to go and exercise your democratic franchise,” Mottley said, adding that she had advised President Sandra Mason to declare Jan. 3 as Nomination Day.
The polls are coming 18 months before Mottley, who led the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a convincing sweep of all the 30 seats in the Parliament on May 24, 2018, should have been seeking a fresh mandate.
In a 37-minute radio and television broadcast, Mottley, the first woman to head a government here, 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 bet 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.
“I am concerned if we start 2022 as a divided nation, we will stunt and frustrate our own progress and what we do today stands to affect this country for the next 20 to 30 years. And we are willing to take the risk because we would rather depart leaving Barbados on course to recovery than grapple for the next 18 months as a divided nation, not making the most of the opportunities that this new COVID environment presents”.
Mottley said she is prepared to make those decisions, even if it means forgoing the next 18 months of her government term because “Barbados and Barbadians deserve better and simply remaining at the crease to say that you were at the crease has never been a successful measure to be able to attain progress in this nation”.
Mottley’s BLP is expected to face a main challenge from the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) that was swept aside in 2018 and Opposition Leader, Bishop Joseph Atherley, who had been part of the victorious BLP when they won all 30 seats, is also expected to contest the polls with a new party.
In her broadcast, Mottley said that there were a number of multi-million dollar projects due to come on stream next year and that the tourism sector, which had been severely impacted by COVID was regaining its position as the major foreign exchange earner in the country.
She also indicated that her administration is confident of continuing to pass the tests under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Barbados had entered into soon after she came to office in 2018.
She said that it is for these reasons that Barbados needed to unite, more so in dealing with Omicron, the latest variant of the COVID-19 virus, “which is coming and it is going to impact us.
“It is true that they do not expect it to be as serious as Delta in terms of the individual consequences … but it is coming and I need Barbadians to approach and fight Omicron as one country, as one nation, as one people.
“I want us to roll back our shirt sleeves and to work as one to climb our way out of COVID and back into social and economic cohesion and prosperity,” she said.
Fantastic move PM Mia Mottley; Politics is really about strategy of which Timing sets the pace for future successes. No one can doubt the effectiveness to that of a TRUE LEADER and especially those of mother’s instinct. It is about leading with Care, Caution and Respect for ALL PEOPLE, it is about selflessness.
However, never lose sight of the fact that a smart leader like the Barbados PM does consult with other Caribbean PMs including our own Ralph Gonsalves; as she knowns it is the right approach to take and would eventually reinforces her position when she wins this “snap election”. Go high my lady; Rise as your timing is RIGHT ON!
Well here is a chance 2get rid of one of the Caribbean Bullys hopefully the bajans have the spine 2do what some of the others cannot do nip a BULLY in the budd.
Just a self serving action. Barbados is one of the most indebted countries in the world and government on a borrowing spree. The govt is the counterpart of the comrade. Voters should teach her a good lesson.
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