Main Opposition party in Barbados will have voice in Senate

Mia Mottley

BRIDGETOWN, BarbadosPrime Minister Mia Mottley has announced that in the absence of an official opposition, following her Barbados Labour Party’s 30-nil victory at the polls last week, the Constitution will be amended to allow for two Opposition Senators.

She says the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) 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.

“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.”

And, said Mottley, if the DLP chooses not to take up the offer, Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, “after the Prime Minister has consulted with organizations and interests which we believe to be important to be reflected in the Senate”, would appoint two other representatives to the Senate.

Over the weekend Mottley announced the appointment of 12 BLP Senators, with Queen’s Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham, a long serving member of the party, serving as President of the Upper Chamber.