BARBADOS ELECTIONS FEATURE
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s decision to call a snap General Election on January 19, 2022, is surprising and comprehensible — surprising that the announcement was made only in the ultimate week of 2021, and comprehensible as she seeks to secure a new mandate, now Barbados is a Republic.
Her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) won all 30 seats within the last General Elections and has since been riding a wave of regional and international popularity, with every part apparently going well on the world stage for the woman leader of one in every of the smallest countries.
In two-party Barbados, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) have had equal-sized footprints since independence in 1966.
BLP’s supporters are already claiming they’ve caught the DLP off guard; nonetheless, the DLP, which can be fielding a lady as its candidate for Prime Minister, has announced its election slate before the ruling party.
The BLP has been campaigning on some significant accomplishments: the recent removal of Lord Nelson’s statue in Bridgetown and the removal of the Queen of England because the island’s Head of State.
But when Caribbean polls are more about bread-and-butter issues than constitutional or political advancement, Barbados is in for its most-fiercely-fought poll since statehood. Life in Barbados has turn out to be very difficult, with rising food prices, job cuts and the social fall-out from Covid-19.
Barbadian voters will subsequently have – in lower than three weeks – a possibility to endorse or reject Ms. Mottley and her government’s social and economic performance to this point.
The incumbent BLP is predicted to achieve success at the following general elections but with a reduced majority. While a very talked-about leader on the international stage, Mia Motley has been described by some at home as autocratic, uncompromising and intolerant of internal criticism.
There’s a view amongst some in Barbados that PM Mottley called the snap election not as much because she feels she’ll win but to provide sufficient time to see through an IMF programme scheduled for early this 12 months, in time for the following general elections, which can be constitutionally due in 2027.
There have been, also, rumors in mid-2021 of internal unrest throughout the BLP, including an alleged growing distance between men and girls within the PM’s cabinet, in addition to at the very least one MP having allegedly lost a ministerial post for being too loud in his criticism. PM Mottley is thought to maneuver quickly to out fires and is alleged to have admirably kept her indoor critics at bay.
Leveraging her newly acquired heightened, international profile, an impending IMF programme and a few inhouse unrest could have been deciding aspects in Mia Mottley’s call for a snap general election.
Not many can be betting on political climate change, when “Bajans” go to the polls on the third Wednesday within the new 12 months. But just as PM Mottley has demonstrated a staid penchant to simply be different, so too she’s not one to be underestimated.
The bells are beginning to toll in Bridgetown, but not yet loud enough to know obviously for whom.