BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thurs. Jan. 20, 2022– Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has secured a second term in office after a landslide victory in the country’s first elections since becoming a republic. Preliminary results from the election this past Thursday reveal that the Barbados Labor Party (BLP), led by Mia Amor Mottley, secured all 30 seats in the House of Assembly. This is the party’s second clean sweep victory, the first being in the 2018 elections.
The results were announced in the wee hours of Thursday morning and were met with much fanfare. A sea of red shirts and flags filled the grounds of the BLP headquarters as supporters stood listening to the PM’s victory speech.
“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,” said Mottley.
Back in December, she called for snap elections, stating that it would help to promote unity in the country in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a move criticized by opposition leaders who felt it unfair to hold elections at a time when many Barbadians are infected with COVID-19 and unable to leave their homes. Some attempted to stop the vote with a court injunction but were ultimately unsuccessful.
“When I spoke to you back on the 27th of December, I asked us to recognize that there are times in the life of a nation when we need to go back to the people. And when we need to be able to allow the people in whom power resides to make decisions about its future. It became clear to us that the ability to prepare this nation for the serious challenges that we will face in the next ten to fifteen years required that we give the people of this nation the option of choosing who it wanted to lead it into that process,” stated the Barbadian Prime Minister.
After the election, the leader of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), Verla De Peiza, conceded defeat. And on Friday, January 21, De Peiza resigned from the position of party leader. According to political scientists, however, finding a new leader is going to be the least of the opposing party’s concerns.
“I don’t think the problem of the DLP is a question of who the leader is or, in this particular context, the problem is not solved by a particular leader. There is a much deeper philosophical and capital and internal rethinking and rebranding and so forth that needs to be done that goes beyond just a leader,” said Dr. Tennyson Joseph in an article by Barbados Today. Joseph, along with Dr. Kristina Hinds, believes that the DLP is going to need complete revamping.
On November 1, 2021, Barbados made its mark at the COP26 conference when Prime Minister Mottley admonished global leaders for not trying hard enough in the fight against climate change. The country then gained further international attention on November 30, 2021, when it became the world’s youngest republic after renouncing the British Queen as its head of state.
“We are conscious as a political institution that there is still much to be done and that there is a road still to be traveled. And that there are things that you as Barbadians are legitimately expecting of us,” said Mottley in her victory address.
“But we are equally conscious that it comes very rarely to a generation to change the pattern of history and to transform a nation. In a very real sense, we felt—as we told you in 2018—that we had been existing on the fumes of the independence generation rather than seeking to carry this nation forward and to release the opportunities that are so obviously available, particularly to Barbadians and young Barbadians,” she added.