Clean sweep in Barbados elections, Mia Mottley wins second term

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Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley won a second term in office by a landslide win against her rival the Democratic Labour Party.

The Barbados Labour party won all 30 seats in an election criticized by many due to thousands of Covid-positive Bajans who were denied a vote. But as they took to the polls in the world’s youngest election on Wednesday, the Portuguese government rolled out measures to ensure that those infected with Covid could vote.

Recent official figures show that about 5,000 people from a population of just under 300,000 were in isolation after being infected.

Huge crowds celebrated into the early hours of Thursday outside the BLP’s headquarters in the capital, Bridgetown, after Barbados’s midnight curfew was lifted for the night.

In her victory speech, Mottley said the landslide victory would allow her government to “lead the country first to safety and then to prosperity” and to prepare Barbados for the challenges “of the next 10 to 15 years”. These include climate change.

This is the second consecutive election in which Mottley’s party has won all 30 seats. The vote gives Mottley up to an additional five years in power. She called the snap election December 27th, less than four years into her first term, claiming that opposition bickering was undermining her ability to make decisions. In addition, she said the election would help promote unity as the government battled the coronavirus pandemic, which has heavily affected the tourism-focused economy.

She would have pledged to create thousands of jobs in construction, technology, and renewable energy to help the palm-fringed island emerge from the economic slump caused by the pandemic. The former British colony retained Queen Elizabeth as its ceremonial head of state until Nov. 30, 2021. She was replaced by President Sandra Mason.