Barbados holds snap general election amid criticism

The jap Caribbean island of Barbados is holding a snap general election after reducing ties with Queen Elizabeth II late final 12 months and appointing its first ever president to steer the world’s latest republic

Prime Minister Mia Mottley with the Barbados Labor Party is searching for a second time period for a five-year place she received in 2018, when she turned the island’s first feminine chief. She faces opponents together with Verla De Peiza of the Democratic Labor Party and Joseph Atherley of the coalition Alliance Party for Progress.

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Polling stations closed early night, however Mottley famous that individuals who had been nonetheless in line had the proper to solid their votes.

She has promised that if her get together wins, they’d give attention to points together with monetary safety, vitamin, renewable vitality tasks and housing, pledging to construct 10,000 houses within the subsequent 5 years. Meanwhile, De Peiza has stated her get together would push for fiscal accountability legal guidelines, ease the tax burden for some teams, cut back import duties on sure items, bolster credit score unions and take away the international change price, amongst different issues.

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Long traces had been reported at some voting facilities whereas others noticed few folks. More than 266,000 folks on the island of greater than 300,000 are registered to vote.

Barbados is among the wealthier nations within the Caribbean, however the winner faces an financial system battered by the pandemic and a nonetheless struggling tourism trade.

Opposition leaders broadly criticized Mottley for holding snap general elections greater than a 12 months forward of schedule and accused her of making an attempt to consolidate energy. Mottley rejected these accusations and stated the elections are a cease to refuel and to proceed remodeling the nation.

One opposition candidate filed an injunction in an try to cease Mottley from holding the elections given the variety of sick voters. The NationNews newspaper reported that 5,700 individuals are unable to vote as a result of they’re remoted with COVID-19 infections.

Mottley made the elections announcement shortly after Barbados turned a republic for the primary time and appointed Governor General Sandra Mason as president. The island that gained independence from the United Kingdom in November 1966 had introduced plans in 2020 to cease being a constitutional monarchy.

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Associated Press author Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed.

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