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Barbados private sector worried as no Opposition member elected to Parliament

Political commentator Shalman Scott and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley
 
There is unease among members of the private sector in Barbados following the sweep of Thursday's general election by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
 
In a release on Friday, the Barbados Private Sector Association said the country is in uncharted territory with no elected Opposition in Parliament.
 
The Association is calling for constitutional experts to quickly advise how to maintain parliamentary checks and balances on the government.
 
The BLP won all 30 seats in the House of Assembly.
 
This is the first election in post-independence Barbados with a clean sweep of seats by a single political party. 
 
Prior to this, the largest majorities were the 26:2 victory for the BLP in the 1999 election, and the 24:3 win in favour of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 1986.
 
Meanwhile, Jamaican political commentator Shalman Scott, said focus will be on the Senate in Barbados to ensure that there is a balance of power with the BLP controlling all 30 seats in the House of Assembly. 
 
This is necessary, he argued, because of the need for some bills to be supported by a two-thirds majority from both Houses of Parliament. 
 
The Senate in Barbados comprises 21 members. 
 
Twelve of these members are appointed by the Prime Minister, seven by the Governor-General at his discretion to represent various interests in the community and two by the Leader of the Opposition.
 
Mr. Scott, who was speaking in an interview with RJR News, has attributed the major defeat of the Democratic Labour Party to a myriad of factors. 
 
Factors, he said, such as a major sewage problem, the feminist agenda by Mia Mottley, younger voters, and the DLP's position on the Caribbean Court of Justice, all converged to "reflect popular discontent which has benefited the BLP, that has been in the political wilderness for (two) consecutive terms. 
 
Freundel Stuart, leader of the Democratic Labour Party, in his concession speech, accepted full responsibility for the defeat of his party.
 
He announced that he will be leaving representational politics.
 
Mandate 
                                                                                                   
In the meantime, Mia Mottley was on Friday sworn in as Prime Minister of Barbados.
 
Ms. Mottley, who is 52 years old, is the first woman to hold the post of Prime Minister of Barbados. 
 
She took the oath of office at Government House.
 
Ms Mottley joins the ranks of former Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller, Dame Eugenia Charles of Dominica, Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago as well as Janet Jagan of Guyana as female heads of Government in the Caribbean.
 
Prime Minister Mottley has promised to reduce Barbados' international debt as part of her mandate. 
 
"We're conscious that what lies before this nation is a set of programmes that we will have to undertake first to be able to stabilise the country...and then we also are conscious that were we only to stabilise Barbados and not transform it, we would be doing a disservice to our country," she declared. 
 
PM Holness 
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Friday afternoon described Mia Mottley's victory in the general election as a historic moment in the region.
 
Mr. Holness said Ms Mottley's win is proof that more women can ascend to the pinnacle of political leadership.
 
While congratulating Ms Mottley, Mr. Holness said she is a powerful force in the Caribbean who will lead Barbados in an inclusive and transparent manner.
 


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