By: Sharon Austin | Story Credit: Barbados GIS
The Joint Sitting of the Barbados Parliament was held today, Wednesday, October 20th, 2021. The House and Senate came together to elect the first President of Barbados, another historic milestone on the road to the Republic. (PMO)
As Barbados prepares to transition to a republic in a few weeks, Dame Sandra Mason has been announced as the island’s first President-elect.
This announcement came today from Speaker of the House of Assembly, Arthur Holder, as he read the Instrument of Election of President, at a joint meeting of both Houses of Parliament at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The joint meeting was earlier suspended, because of an objection, and the members reconvened in their respective House, where they voted for Dame Sandra.
In congratulating Dame Sandra, who received the necessary two-thirds majority vote in the Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the election of a President “is a seminal moment” in the country’s journey.
Ms. Mottley continued: “We look forward, therefore, to December 1, 2021. But we do so confident that we have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian; does not pretend to be anything else; reflects the values of who we are; [and] has been able, in spite of her achievement of many firsts, to maintain a humility that is so admired by our people.
“Barbadians do not like boastful people, that is not our nature. But we like confident people, …proud people, …industrious people, …people who fight for the underdog, who believe in social justice, who believe in fairness; that is who we are. I can think, therefore, of no better person at this juncture of our nation who can reflect …those values, and who also, by dint of their life, has shown you that it is not simply about fighting for rights, which is absolutely essential in a post-colonial society, but …recognising the responsibilities that must go hand in hand with the gift of those rights.”
Ms. Mottley said the transition to a republic was also about positioning the springboard that was necessary to undertake the most difficult mission confronting this independent nation. She stressed that Government had not come to this moment lightly, as she stated that it was time to “claim our full destiny”.