Barbados in panic mode says opposition after Mottley announces snap election

Barbados PM Mottley making the announcement for a January 19, 2022 snap election

Barbados’ opposition Leader Verla Depeiza of the Democratic Labour party (DLP) has claimed that the government of Barbados is in “panic mode” after the country’s prime minister announced a snap poll in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the threatening Omicron variant.

Mia Mottley announced at the beginning of this week that the date of the general election has been set for January 19th 2022. The next election would normally not have been due until 2023.

The move came just weeks after Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and became the world’s youngest republic. The country’s ruling party; the Barbados Labor Party (BLP), currently has an overwhelming majority in parliament having won all 30 seats of the Lower House of the Barbadian parliament in the 2018 election and currently retains 29 of those seats.

Mottley led the BLP to victory in May 2018 for a five-year term and became the country’s first female prime minister.

In a strong statement, DLP leader, said the government has put its interests ahead of Barbadians and the country and pointed fingers at the ruling Barbados Labour Party for “dividing the country” and urged Barbadians to vote for change and rid the country of a one-party state.

Depeiza slammed Motley saying that in the midst of a pandemic and the threat of Omicron and while still under a state of emergency, there is no compelling argument for an election to be called by a 17 month-old government, except to be self-serving.

“It is clear that the government of the day has to come to [a] feeling of panic and that the nation’s first called, which is its public. Safety has been set aside to pursue selfish ends, which expose all people to great harm and possible death,” the opposition leader stated.

Lynette Eastmond of the United Progressive Party also has her own problems with the development. On Tuesday, she wrote that “this possibility of calling elections at the whims of a leader is no longer relevant to a mature democracy, one that has just donned the mantle of Republic and has removed the Queen of England as the head of state.”

Eastmond also challenged the premise that Prime Minister Mottley used for calling the pole.

 She wrote on her Facebook page that “from what we have been able to gather, the reason for calling this election at this time, is the notion that Barbarians have become difficult to govern. This is rather surprising since the BLP has more than a two-thirds majority in the lower house and is operating through directives issued by the cabinet bypassing any involvement of other members of parliament and the electorate.”

Meantime, after making the announcement for the January 19, 2021 snap election, Prime Minister Mottley called on citizens of her country to “unite around a common cause and a single government.”

In a political address broadcast on December 27th 2021 on her social media accounts, Mottley argued that the country was in the grip of a “silly season” as critics attacked her government’s response to COVID-19, stating that it was time to put aside partisan squabbling. The prime minister said that she did not want Barbados to be a “divided nation.”

“I need for us to unite around a common cause, unite behind a single government, unite behind a single leader,” she stated.

“We have, my friends, a country to build out, and we have a people to mold. Let us go on confident that if we can do so united as a people, there is no major challenge that can knock us down for the count fully,” she added.

Mottley also listed her government’s economic and financial achievements and said that Barbados’ economy was recovering despite that the damage the COVID-19 pandemic did to the country’s crucial tourism sector.

In an apparent attempt to deflect potential criticism that she was moving opportunistically to consolidate power, Mottley pointed to her party’s overwhelming majority in parliament and noted she still had much of her first term left to serve.

“Were I motivated solely by the need to survive, we could bask, my friends, in the glory of a 29-1 parliament and ride COVID out for the next 18 months.”

Nomination day in Barbados is earmarked for January 3rd 2022.

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35 Comments

  1. Mark
    January 3, 2022

    @Jonathan St.Jean, no matter how much you try to qualify your statement, it is still a silly one. Were you asleep when you came up with this far-fetched idea? Why do you insist on making a f..l of yourself? Admit you misspoke or for a matter of fact, just leave well alone and move on to the next subject.
    You’re now injecting Skerrit into the conversation. What does he have to do with what I said?
    Anon B True has sent you a follow-up on your asinine statement. Use it to educate yourself.
    Ibo has also informed you that the Queen is simply a figurehead and is not going to intervene in Barbados’ election, covid or no covid.
    I believe you’re confusing a snap election with an insurrection.

  2. John
    January 2, 2022

    I believe the clear reason behind this early elections is that, when her party became victorious at the poles, she sworn in as PM with alligence to the Queen of England, now she removed the Queen as Head of State and became Republic, gave her the right to call fresh elections so she can be sworn in as a Republic states and not the Queen anymore.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      January 3, 2022

      Even if Barbados remained independent and recognized Elizabeth as the head of State; she as Prime minister of Barbados could have called a snap election at any time she wished; Elizabeth nor any so called queen could not do anything about it!

      Elizabeth’s position was nothing more than a ceremonial position; if a law was tabled and passed in Barbados, Elizabeth signature did not appear on it.

      Her representative the Governor General of Barbados signed the laws into effect!

  3. Anon B True
    January 2, 2022

    @Jonathan St. Jean, as I read your response to my comments on your original post, I realised how wrong I was about you. Therefore, I was to apologise to you. For thinking you were sensible. Let me address your key retorts: “it is my opinion that the Queen would not have rubber-stamped the ill-advised decision to hold an election in the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Jonathan, the queen has nothing to do with elections, rubber-stamping or otherwise. Firstly, the constitution gives the prime minister/head of government the sole authority to call the election, who advises the governor general, not the queen to prorogue parliament. The GG has no choice, since he/she acts on advise of ministers. Secondly, the GG is the de facto head of state as the queen has vested all executive authority in GG. Absolutely no conversation is held between the queen and independent countries on such matters. I hope you have been educated on this.
    “the new head of the brand new Republic, just like…

    • Anon B True
      January 2, 2022

      “To oppose Mia would mean she [the president] could have been removed whilst the Queen couldn’t.” Again, your ignorance on this is astounding. The constitution outlines specific conditions under which the president can be removed. Disagreeing with the PM on election date is not one of them. You might wish to argue that she will not be given a second term, but in Barbados’ case, that’s in five years, long after the election. And if the parliament decides not to give her a second term, parliament has this prerogative.
      “please re-read and reread and reread my submission and point out where I said that Mia Motley is corrupt. Mia might sue you but she can’t sue me because I never mentioned this word. I understand it’s the festive season and alcoholic drinks mess with the mind but, please, don’t ascribe things I never said to me.” Since I don’t drink, I’d like to think the reference to alcohol was in relation to someone else since the opening words in your post were: “Mia has…

  4. Mark
    January 1, 2022

    @Jonathan St.Jean, you’re trying real hard to defend your silly comment regarding the Queen’s possible intervention in Barbados’ upcoming election due to coronavirus. You know that’s a bunch of bull and you’ve been called out on it by several individuals. Just take your blows on this one and run. No need to try and quality your statement.
    Also, let me remind you of one of your prior quotes “Only as*s assume” so don’t get caught up with assuming anything and please adhere to the same standards you profess.

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      January 1, 2022

      @Mark, you lack the capacity in this festive season to think straight if you can’t see the point that I’m making about the Queen who has declined to attend many functions she normally would have, because of Covid-19. I will assume that she would be taken aback by an election being called 17 months before it’s due in the peak of the spread of the most contagious variant of the Covid-19 virus by a leader who holds an absolute majority in parliament in her country. It’s folks like you who lack foresight and will simply rubber stamp anything that your mentor Skerritt has been doing in sullying Democracy in Dominca. I didn’t expect anything different from you.

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      January 2, 2022

      @Mark, you who hides behind a fake name, let me try to give you another reasoned point of view why my position is not silly nor am I out of place to make my assumption of what the Queen’s position might be. Recall that following the January 6th insurrection, President Biden stated that had it been Blacks protesting unto the grounds of the Capitol the security officials would have shot and killed a few of them. First that’s an assumption with which I agree, because it’s based on past actions and behavior of reactions to Blacks. I’m summizing that you also agree with that assumption. Reason being that it’s based on past actions. The Queen’s actions in the period of Covid-19 has been to not attended functions because of the pandemic’s effects on society. Therefore, I’m almost certain that she would question why would Mia want to do something so irresponsible when there’s no compelling reason for it. Go figure.

  5. Jonathan Y St Jean
    December 31, 2021

    @Gary, you sound very naive. If a leader holds an absolute majority as Mia does in Barbados, why is she having difficulty having her priorities enacted, that she wants the electorate to unite behind one party? The Bajan voters united behind her party in the last election with the overwhelming majority they gave her. I don’t understand your asinine question about is it through a military coup that she won. This argument makes no sense and sounds very amateurish. Mia’s argument also makes no sense because she has an overwhelming majority and if she isn’t a weak leader should be able to get through parliament almost anything she wants. How can you in your fickle mind say that I want to decide for the people of Barbados? We hold many things in common in the region and I know that I’m free to call out issues I view as out of whack, like Mia having an absolute majority and still waiting a one party government. You choose to shut up about wrong issues in Dominca also.

  6. Toto
    December 31, 2021

    When she says she has a people to mold I get the shivers because that sounds exactly what Skerrit has said in the past and comes directly out of the textbook of the communist party of China. That is just brainwashing man. No individual thinking allowed and dissent becoming treason. Maybe Mia have to give that undertaking to China in return for more goodies but honestly, I would not want to live such a nightmare. We all must die some time and for me is better to die fighting than living like a moulded moron.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
  7. Leighton R James
    December 31, 2021

    Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam!

    Mottley fits right in with many of the ineffective and conspiring Caribbean Wannabe Autocrats.

    According to her ‘…The country is too divided…’ ” I need for us to unite around a common cause, unite behind a single government, unite behind a single leader”. Who has been the Barbadian leader in the past ~3 years while this division crystallized; worse still with a 29:1 Parliamentary Majority? Mottley seems to believe that Barbadians are dense and cannot disprove her argument; therefore her proposition must be true. This is classic ‘Appeal to Ignorance’ — Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam; an error in Logic on Mottley’s part.

    I hope that, unlike those who fall for this nonsensical argument in Dominica, the Electorate in Barbados is more astute!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  8. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    December 30, 2021

    Mia you are on your last lap; yours is a cynical move which is going to cost you; in that the people of Barbados is going to kick you to the curb.
    Right now, I am listening to the former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur talking about you.

    He surely conveys nothing good about you; if anything, he has exposed the tyranny in you, it will be a miracle if you prevail in this snap election, more voters in Barbados seems to be against you than those who still supports you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      December 30, 2021

      Barbados is going to kick you to the curb.

      that should read “Barbados are going to kick you to the curb.”

      • Bobby
        December 31, 2021

        You should’ve play it safe and lef e as it was, it’s the brother of a oxymoron, singular too. English is the worse(t) language. :-x

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaquue
          January 1, 2022

          Hahahahahahahahahahahahah!
          You could have discovered that I once again I erred; rather than ‘Barbados are;’ it should read Barbadians “plural” are going to kick you to the curb!

  9. jaded
    December 30, 2021

    Question to DNO (or anyone else): If BLP wins the elections, will the new term begin right away or do they have to run out the remaining of the 5 years before beginning the new 5-year term? Thanks.

    ADMIN: The Constitution of Barbados does not seem to give a specific time for the installation of the new government. However, section 66 (b) indicates that following an election the position of Prime Minister must be appointed (the incumbent prime minister is either reappointed or must vacate office) before the holding of the next session of parliament.

    This is our own understanding. We are ,of course, open to clarification by any experts on the constitutional law of Barbados.

    • Jr
      December 31, 2021

      She starts with a new term as soon a sworn in. Has up to 5 years to call the next.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Bajan in Dominica
      December 31, 2021

      Once a general election is held, the political party winning the majority of parliamentary constituencies forms the government with the leader of the winning political party becoming Prime Minister. For example Barbados has 30 parliamentary constituencies, if the Barbados Labour Party lead by Mia Motley wins 16 seat, her party forms the government and she becomes Prime Minister.

  10. Pipo
    December 30, 2021

    This sounds to me that Barbados is following its newfound paymaster China, in setting up a one-party state under the BLP such like its sister organisation in Dominica. Beware, in a true democracy there should be an opposition, if only to hold the ruling government to account.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3
    • Jr
      December 31, 2021

      He debt is with IMF, World Bank and CDB. But if China fits your messaging better, then you get no argument from me.

    • Annon
      December 31, 2021

      Sorry they had to drop your geopolitical bullies as their head of state but that should teach you locally to educate your own electorate to change their gov’t every 10yrs., good or bad.

    • Gary
      December 31, 2021

      If you look around the world, is it China you only see with a one Party Government, or your so-called sister organization in Dominica. Why are you so focused on China, it is the coming of a new year when are you going to stop viewing the world you live in through a pinhole according Pipo.

      You must also stop deceiving yourself, do you really think that an Opposition Party is the pinnacle of demorccracy which holds a ruling government to account, wow what a fallacy of your imagination,it is the power of the people that is responsible to hold Governments into account, remember, when government fears the people, there is liberty, when the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16
      • Toto
        January 2, 2022

        Keep looking through the pinhole Gary, limited view that giving you my friend, worse than a horse with blinkers.

  11. Ibo France
    December 30, 2021

    I still admire Mia Mottley even though with this decision some of her shine has dimmed in my honest opinion.

    I strongly believe that there should be a fixed election date in very democratic country in the Caribbean. No leader should carry around the election date in his/her back pocket and use it for political advantageousness.

    I also like strong, robust and proactive opposition. The electorate needs a viable alternative to the ruling party. This helps to prevent complacency and keep the government on its p’s and q’s.

    The electoral system is the fulcrum of our democracy therefore it’s imperative that it has guardrails to protect it from unscrupulous, tiefing, power hungry politicians.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2
    • Jr
      December 31, 2021

      The constitution of Barbados, as currently constructed, allows the sitting government up to 5 years to call an election. This gives them the advantage of timing, and this iis the first time it has been used this early by a very popular government. It is a strategic move she is using to punish some people who she believes will loose power a become irrelevant in this election. It also gives her a full term in republican status and time to frame the new constitution.
      There are some good things in calling a snap election: it forces the opposition to always state their positions on issues; to reduces mischief, meaning not a lot of time for special interest and dirty money to spread rumors. This means that the electorate will rely mainly on their perception of where the country is going under the current government. If done in the US I think elections would be much less polarizing.

  12. Jonathan Y St Jean
    December 30, 2021

    Mia has openly come out as one of the corrupt governments in the Caribbean region. In the age of autocracy she’s determined not to be left out. She won all 30 of the 30 seats in the last election and now she wants the Barbarian voters to unite behind one government. What the hell does that mean? She is signaling that she is a failure if with that majority she can’t achieve her plans and goals. All around the world we see the head of the beast of autocracy and Mia doesn’t want to be left out, so she calls for the election in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic which prevents large groups of people congregating. She knows that the Queen would have questioned her need to have a poll in this precarious time so she connivingly has the new stooge head of state do her bidding. I hope for her loss at the polls and that will be the beginning of the return to sensible governing across the region and she will be remembered as the Motley Fool.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7
    • Ibo France
      December 30, 2021

      Queen Elizabeth 2nd was only a figurehead. She could not have prevented Mia Mottley from having new general election.

      I totally agree with you that democracy around the world is diminishing. Even in the once exemplary English speaking Caribbean, quasi and fully blown dictatorships have taken root.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        December 31, 2021

        @Ibo France, no where in my submission did I say that the Queen would have nor could have prevented Mia from calling her I’ll advised election during the heights of the Covid-19. I very well know that just the fact of someone questioning the intentions of another can give them pause and make them feel guilty, therefore they reconsider or go ahead with what their intent was. Don’t put words in my mind and insinuate what I never said.

    • Anon B True
      December 31, 2021

      @Jonathan Y St Jean, your posts are generally reasoned. This one is shocking. Did the queen question elections held during the pandemic in St. Lucia, Trinidad, Belize, St. Vincent, Canada, Anguilla, Bermuda, the Bahamas, St. Kitts, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands? Some of these are actually British territories. I don’t understand why you’re trying to mislead people with you comment that “She knows that the Queen would have questioned her need to have a poll in this precarious time so she connivingly has the new stooge head of state do her bidding.” And, what proof do you present to support your claim that the Mottley government is corrupt? That she calls an election? I’m no fan of snap elections, but come on man, you’re better than that.
      As for the winning all the seats, the people spoke, isn’t this what democracy is about, or are you selective with your definition? Interestingly, many of the governments that held elections during the pandemic have lost badly, including St…

      • Anon B True
        December 31, 2021

        Interestingly, many of the governments that held elections during the pandemic have lost badly, including St. Lucia, Bahamas, Tobago, TCI, Cayman Islands, Curacao and Trudeau in Canada barely escaped with the support of smaller parties. So Mottley has taken a big risk. But you don’t seem to know that.
        As I said earlier, you’re often reasoned, so I don’t know what came over you this time round. Maybe you needed to familiarise yourself with the issue.

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        December 31, 2021

        @Anon B True, it is my opinion that the Queen would not have rubber-stamped the ill-advised decision to hold an election in the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic. I might be right or I might be wrong and I’m allowed to assume and give my opinion. However, I’m free to think that the Queen questioning Mia could have caused her to think harder about her intent. On the other hand the new head of the brand new Republic, just like our President in Dominca, has that office at the behest of prime minister and so tends to be a stooge. To oppose Mia would mean she could have been removed whilst the Queen couldn’t. Do you know what and if the Queen said to those leaders who held elections in the heights of the pandemic? Are you privy to the discuss between the Queen and those leaders? Just like you, I don’t know what they talked about but based on the actions of the Queen I can assume she’d say something. These leaders are always free to do as they damn well please.

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        December 31, 2021

        @Anon B True, please re-read and reread and reread my submission and point out where I said that Mia Motley is corrupt. Mia might sue you but she can’t sue me because I never mentioned this word. I understand it’s the festive season and alcoholic drinks mess with the mind but, please, don’t ascribe things I never said to me. I am quite capable of speaking for myself and saying exactly what I want to say.

        • Anon B True
          January 2, 2022

          @Jonathan St Jean, since I don’t drink alcohol, I take it your reference to alcoholic drinks mess is about someone with a muddled mind. Of the two of us, it’s not me. The opening line of your post states: “Mia has openly come out as one of the corrupt governments in the Caribbean region.” So what do you mean when you say you never mentioned this word?

    • Gary
      December 31, 2021

      When you say quote, “She won all 30 of the 30 seats in the last election, and now she wants the Barbarian voters to unite behind one government.” well, how she won the majority of seats, is it through the military coupe, did she steal the elections or any other nefarious means, the majority of seats was given to her Party by the people, why do you have a problem, isn’t that what democracy is. As to the rest of your comment, you are entitled to your opinion, but remember you are an outsider looking in, what makes you think that you have the key that holds prosperity and good governance for the people of Barbados, oh Jonathan Y St Jean, have a happy new year.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10
  13. out of south city
    December 30, 2021

    DNO, is the date supposed to be January 3rd, 2021or January 3rd 2022?

    ADMIN: Thanks for pointing it out, we had it corrected.

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