Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called a snap general election for January 19, just weeks after the Caribbean country became a republic and said goodbye to the British monarchy.
A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, Barbados in October elected Sandra Mason as the country’s first-ever president to Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
Mason was sworn in as president on November 30.
In a 37-minute political address broadcast on her social media accounts on Monday, Mottley listed her government’s economic and financial achievements and said the economy was recovering despite damage to the tourism industry by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arguing that the country was in the grip of a “silly season” as critics attacked her government’s response to COVID-19, Mottley said it was time to put aside partisan squabbling.
“I need for us to unite around a common cause, unite behind a single government, unite behind a single leader,” she said, pledging to support whoever emerged victorious.
Mottley, the leader of the Barbados Labour Party and first female prime minister of her country, won election in May 2018 for a five-year term.
The new ballot would be held on January 19 with nomination day earmarked for January 3, she said.