Barbados PM moves to give DLP Senate voice

(Barbados Nation) The Mia Mottley government will be seeking to grant the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) a voice in the Senate in an attempt to maintain democracy.

The DLP, having been blanked 30-0 in last Thursday’s General Election, will be invited to choose two people to sit in the Upper House after the first sitting of the House of Assembly.

“I have consulted on these appointments with Her Excellency, the Governor General, and the fact that our constitution does not make provision for the appointment of Opposition Senators in the absence of a Leader of the Opposition,” Mottley said in a press statement on Saturday.

“We have discussed the need for an urgent amendment of the Constitution to allow the Opposition political party securing the highest number of votes two appointments to the Senate because we believe that even though there has been no official leader of the Opposition, my Government would wish to have accommodated, the views of the main Opposition party. In this instance, we are effectively speaking about the Democratic Labour Party.”

The Prime Minister said “it is only fair to the country” that those amendments be made to secure an Opposition voice, rather than to have them absent from Parliament.

Mottley added: “In the event that they (DLP) fail to respond positively to Her Excellency, Her Excellency would appoint two Senators acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, after the Prime Minister has consulted with organisations and interests which we believe to be important to be reflected in the Senate. The amendment would speak to both those issues.”

The Prime Minister also informed the country that in the coming weeks she would be making announcements of “key” persons on whom the Government would depend to solve issues in the mission critical areas spoken of during the three-week campaign leading up to the election.

She said those persons would be known as “czars”.

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