Mottley sworn in as Barbadian Prime Minister

(Barbados Nation) Mia Amor Mottley is now this country’s eighth Prime Minister.

The Barbados Labour Party chief officially took up the position at 12.25 p.m. today, when she read the oath for the execution of the office of the Prime Minister in the presence of Governor General, Dame Sandra Mason, at Government House.

Member of Parliament, Dale Marshall, quickly followed suit as he was sworn in as the country’s Attorney General.

Mottley, dressed in a canary-yellow skirt suit accessorised with a red and burgundy shawl and matching handbag, was greeted with huge hugs by her parents, Elliot Mottley, QC and Amor Mottley, moments before reading her oath to a live national audience on radio and television.

It was a family affair for the new Prime Minister, as the ceremony was also attended by brothers Warren and Stewart, sister Elan, and uncle Elombe, as well as nieces and St Michael North East faithful.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley (right) receiving the instrument of office from Governor General Dame Sandra Mason. (TeleSUR photo)

Marshall, decked out in a three-piece suit, with red and beige tie, shared handshakes with party chairman George Payne and general secretary Dr Jerome Walcott before taking his second oath as the country’s Attorney General.

Mottley and Marshall’s swearing-in came about eight hours after the BLP had scored a resounding 30-0 win at the polls in Thursday’s general election.

After the ceremony, both Mottley and Marshall departed for the first official meeting of the new Government, in an effort to start the people’s business as a matter of urgency.

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader and her team romped home to an unprecedented 30-nil victory at the polls  with a punishing defeat of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

With the demolition, the long-serving MP joins a prestigious regional list including the late Dame Eugenia Charles (Dominica), the late Janet Jagan (Guyana), Portia Simpson Miller (Jamaica) and Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago).

The BLP’s poll party started just before midnight at its Roebuck Street, St Michael headquarters where thousands of supporters danced and sang throughout the wee hours of this morning, forcing police to block off the street to vehicular traffic. 

Not my victory

Mia Mottley

“This is not my victory. This is not the Labour Party’s victory. This is the people of Barbados’ victory,” Mottley told a jam-packed Roebuck Street in her victory speech, before thanking her family, campaign manager Jerome Walcott, and consultants Dr Clyde Mascoll and Lucille Moe for the sacrifices they made in the campaign.

At around 3:40 a.m., Mottley officially acknowledged the concession speech of outgoing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

She had earlier in the night cemented her personal victory in the St Michael North East constituency, easily beating former MP for Bridgetown, Patrick Todd.

But this was a party win all the way, with the DLP amazingly losing in its major stronghold, St John, for the first time since it had been contesting that seat in 1958, and other powerhouse constituencies such as St Philip North, St Philip West, St Michael North West and St Lucy. 

Heavy support

For the three-week campaign there had been noticeably heavy support for the Bees at political meetings, and that manifested in former MPs such as Michael Lashley, Dr David Estwick, Chris Sinckler, Ronald Jones and Denis Kellman, all comfortable winners last time out in 2013, becoming victims of a massive national swing.

A humble Mottley thanked Barbados for the historic win, which became clear just after midnight, after the late arrival of numerous special ballot boxes at polling stations across the island.

“I have seen in my colleagues a level of commitment and sacrifice,” she added, while paying special tribute to party chairman George Payne for helping show the unity developed in the Best For Barbados team which included 20 new candidates.

“There should be no time for gloating. We are all one people. We are Barbadians,” she said to loud applause. “We will need many hands to help make light work. We will rebuild Barbados together.

“We have to get to the task immediately,” Mottley said, adding mission No. 1 was to reduce the fiscal deficit, and that she wanted a Cabinet in place by Monday.

Stuart signalled his retirement from elective politics, but indicated the Dems would definitely bounce back.

“We suffered a similar defeat in 1999. We rebounded from that and I expect us to rebound from this,” he said around 3:15 a.m. in his concession speech.

Stuart also accepted blame for the loss, saying it was on him “unequivocally”, but adding the DLP had more than enough talent to lead it back to elective prominence.

 

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