Barbados to hold first election since becoming a republic
Barbados will hold general elections called by Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Wednesday, the Caribbean nation’s first vote since it became a republic last year.
Currently, 108 candidates compete for the 30 seats in Parliament. Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) nominated 30 candidates each, nine candidates are independent. The remaining ones represent five minority political parties.
Over 3,700 electoral officials will verify the voting process. Electoral and Boundary Commission (EBC), President Leslie Haynes warned that there will be a delay in the dissemination of results due to COVID-19 protocols.
“We have spent a lot of time training our staff, and we hope the delays will not be so long.
“However, we assume that there will be more delays than usual and several polling stations were established to avoid overcrowding,” Haynes said.
Mottley, whose BLP now controls 29 out of 30 seats, stated the vote would help promote unity in the face of the pandemic, which has heavily hit the country’s tourism-focused economy.
“We have to learn to live with the COVID-19, which is not likely to disappear soon,” the Prime Minister insisted and advised voters to wear masks at polling stations.
As of Jan. 18, Barbados had reported 35,734 coronavirus cases and 269 related deaths.