Mama Mia—kudos for an unprecedented second landslide victory in Barbados!
Regional leaders, including Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah have congratulated Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley following her repeat landslide sweep of the Barbados general elections on Wednesday.
From the US and Cuba to Guyana, leaders lauded and sent “love” to Mottley via tweeted congrats and letters.
Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party achieved an unprecedented second sweep in Barbados’ general elections—its first after becoming a republic last year.
The BLP had swept all seats in 2018 when Mottley first won. General elections were constitutionally due in 2023, but Mottley called the snap poll last December.
Barbados’ other major party, the Democratic Labour Party led by Verla De Peiza—conceded defeat. A coalition led by Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherly didn’t win any seats.
Mottley, 56, Barbados’ first female leader, now has another five-year term until 2027. She’s said the landslide victory will allow her government to “lead the country first to safety, then to prosperity…”
Yesterday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed Rowley sent a congratulatory letter to Mottley.
This stated, “Dear Prime Minister, I wish to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on a resounding victory once again for you and for your political party in the recently concluded General Elections.
“This victory is not only attributable to your astute leadership, but is a signal of the determination of the people of Barbados to continue to make the right choices while experiencing difficult circumstances.”
Rowley added, “Under your leadership, Barbados has entered into a new era by placing itself resolutely on the international stage championing the concerns of the Caribbean Community, including climate change and other issues affecting small island developing States. These bold actions culminated last year with the emergence of Barbados as a Republic with its first Head of State.
“Trinidad and Tobago has a strong bond with Barbados and I look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship and to promoting our nations as part of the Caribbean Community in addressing the concerns that confront us all. Yours sincerely, Keith C. Rowley (PhD).”
Foreign Affairs Minister Amery Browne also congratulated the people of Barbados on the peaceful conclusion of their elections.
“I also warmly congratulated Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and her BLP team on the emphatic renewal of their mandate to serve that nation and her people,” he said.
“The republic of Barbados continues to exemplify the strength of democracy within CARICOM and we can be confident that she will continue to inspire and provide good example to the rest of the world.”
Opposition Leader Persad-Bissessar said, “The people of Barbados have shown their confidence in her vision, policies and leadership. The people of T&T will never forget that during one of our most difficult periods, it was Mia Mottley who provided the first supplies of COVID-19 vaccines to our country. Mia’s generosity and commitment to regional solidarity continue to be a shining example for the Caribbean. I look forward to continuing to work with Mia in the interests of the people of both T&T and Barbados.”
MSJ leader Abdulah’s letter to Mottley stated, “When you announced what has been deemed a snap election, you clearly stated that the challenges that Barbados faces requires the country to be united behind the leadership that the people wish to have and that therefore a new mandate—a mandate for the times of Covid and post-Covid transformation—is required. The people of Barbados have answered with a resounding response!
Abdulah added, “The measure of the country’s unity is in all 30 constituencies democratically electing as their representative the candidate of the BLP. There can be absolutely no doubting that the citizens of Barbados wish you to lead them as the nation journeys into the future as a new Republic.”
Caricom, US send congrats
Caricom secretary general Carla Barnett congratulated Mottley on a resounding victory.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US looks forward to deepening its partnership with Mottley.
“Our strong relationship is rooted in trust, respect and abiding friendship,” Blinken said.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves congratulated Mottley, whom he said was his “dear friend,” adding that her massive victory was simply extraordinary.
“What this victory indicates is that Caribbean people are not prepared to tolerate noises, discordant noises from persons who don’t represent individuals in the country but who go about maligning people. The people prefer an uplifting, developmental narrative. It is heartening to see people listening and voting for what is structured and organised and with quality leadership,” Gonsalves said.
Guyana President Irfaan Ali told Mottley, “Your re-election provides us with the opportunity to concretise the plans and programmes that we have discussed to build on the cooperation between Guyana and Barbados.
Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was confident that under Mottley’s leadership, Jamaica and Barbados will continue to share strong bilateral relationships.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, wishing Mottley success, added, “We reiterate the will to continue strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and cooperation between the two countries.”
Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, congratulating “Sister Mia,” said, “I think the results represent an overwhelming vote of confidence in the BLP administration. The Barbadian electorate has essentially opted for continuation of the tremendous work that Sister Mia and her team has been doing.”
“Yes, the times are difficult, with an unprecedented pandemic that just seems to go on and on, but there are many other important facets to leadership at this time and the people are obviously of the opinion the BLP has done a good job thus far,” Mitchell added, noting the BLP needs to continue fulfilling its promises to Barbadians, uniting the people and managing the ongoing crisis.
St Lucia Prime Minister Philip Pierre, congratulating “Comrade Mottley and the BLP,” said, “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 for sustainable growth and development.”
Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the BLP’s win was not just historic but deserving as well.
Antigua Opposition leader Harold Lovell noted Barbadians are satisfied with Mottley’s leadership.
“She has certainly distinguished herself as one of the outstanding leaders for this region and for this period.”
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he looked forward to working together with Barbados “and taking the Dominica-Barbados relationship to a higher level.”
St Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, offering “heartfelt congratulations,” added, “This is great news for Barbados as well as for the region. I look forward to ongoing collaboration.”
Nevis Premier Mark Brantley said he was “delighted to wish my dear friend Mia Mottley heartiest congratulation s… The people of Barbados have spoken most eloquently yet again.”
Belize’s Foreign Ministry stated, “We have watched, with deep admiration, as PM Mottley has distinguished herself as a true champion of the Caribbean on the world stage.”
Results were expected—analyst
Some 266,330 Barbadians were registered to vote in Wednesday’s election – but approximately 5,500 were in isolation due to COVID-19, according to official Barbados figures.
On Monday ahead of the polls, political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath had said Mottley would win but could lose some seats due to division and issues which had plagued her party.
Among those, Atherly, who had won the St Michael West seat with BLP in 2018 crossed the floor subsequently, leaving Mottley with 29 seats
After Wednesday’s BLP victory, Ragoonath said yesterday, “The results were expected. The lady has been able to win after calling an election very early without giving people time to prepare.
“If there had been queries whether her international image was different to her local image, I think the election results showed that her local image is also very strong and this is the result they ended up with.”
Mottley will announce her Cabinet on Monday.