Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Monday called a snap general election for January 19.
The move came just weeks after the country removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became the world’s youngest republic.
In October, Barbados elected Sandra Mason as the country’s first-ever president. Mason was sworn in as president on November 30.
What did Mottley say in her address?
In a political address broadcast on social media, Mottley listed her government’s economic and financial achievements. She added that Barbados’ economy was recovering despite that the damage the COVID-19 pandemic did to the country’s crucial tourism sector.
In response to criticism of her government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mottley said that the country had entered a “silly season” and that it was time to put aside partisan squabbling.
In her address explaining the decision to hold the election, Mottley called on the people of Barbados to “unite around a common cause, unite behind a single government, unite behind a single leader.” She added that she did not want Barbados to be a “divided nation.”
Labor Party holds majority
Mottley is the leader of the Barbados Labor Party and the country’s first female prime minister, having won the May 2018 election for a five-year term.
The next election would normally not have been due until 2023.
The Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats of the lower house of the Barbadian parliament in the 2018 election and currently retains 29 of those seats.