By Dyllan Lawrence
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) made history on January 20th, 2022, as they became the first party to win a general election since Barbados’s transition into a Parliamentary republic.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who made history as Barbados’s first female prime minister in the previous election, lead the party to another historical accomplishment. The victory of this snap election, which was called 18 months before it was constitutionally due, lead the party to become the second political organization in the Caribbean to sweep all the seats in Parliament in an election on consecutive occasions.
The first to have achieved this political feat is the New National Party of Grenada, led by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who won three consecutive elections in a clean sweep of all 15 seats.
The BLP won all 30 seats in the national legislature, according to reports published by local media. The party had previously held 29 seats following its landslide win in 2018.
The BLP’ victory was met with criticism by the opposition leader for holding the elections in the midst of the pandemic where many infected individuals would not be able to leave their homes and vote. To no prevail, the opposition sought a court injunction to stop the snap elections on the grounds that holding an election amid the pandemic restrictions violated suffrage rights.
On Tuesday night the high court of Barbados ruled that it has no jurisdiction to postpone the election. For reference, 6,900 of Barbados’s estimated population total of 287,000 are actively infected with Covid-19 and were, therefore, unable to vote due to the pandemic restrictions. Motley won her seat by 3,216 votes, which is slightly less than half of the total who were unable to take part.
"We stand today on the morning of the 20th of January confident that the people have spoken with one voice - decisively, unanimously, and clearly," said Mottley to her cheering supporters at the BLP headquarters.
She further added in her victory remarks made online, “We want to thank each and every one of the people of Barbados for the confidence that they continue to repose in us.”