Barbados elects first-ever president, changing British monarchy

The former British colony will change the UKs Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and develop into a republic.

Barbados has elected its first-ever president to interchange the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state in a decisive step in direction of shedding the Caribbean island’s colonial previous.

Sandra Mason was elected late on Wednesday by a two-thirds vote of a joint session of the nation’s House of Assembly and Senate, a milestone, the federal government stated in a press release, on its “road to republic”.

A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, the nation of simply lower than 300,000 had lengthy maintained ties with the British monarchy. But requires full sovereignty and homegrown management have risen in recent times.

Mason, 72, will probably be sworn in on November 30, the nation’s 55th anniversary of independence from the UK. A former jurist who has been governor-general of the island since 2018, she was additionally the primary girl to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley referred to as the election of a president “a seminal moment” within the nation’s journey.

“We have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian, does not pretend to be anything else [and] reflects the values of who we are,” Mottley stated after Mason’s election.

Wazim Mowla of the Atlantic Council think-tank informed the Reuters information company the election may gain advantage Barbados each at home and overseas.

The move makes Barbados, a small growing nation, a extra authentic participant in international politics, Mowla stated, however may additionally function a “unifying and nationalistic move” which will profit its present management at home.

“Other Caribbean leaders and their citizens will likely praise the move, but I don’t expect others to follow suit,” Mowla added. “This move will always be considered only if it is in the best interest of each country.”

Mottley stated the nation’s determination to develop into a republic was not a condemnation of its British previous.

“We look forward to continuing the relationship with the British monarch,” she stated.

Barbados was claimed by the British in 1625. It has generally been referred to as “Little England” for its loyalty to British customs.

It is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot; previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, greater than one million vacationers visited its idyllic seashores and crystalline waters every year.

The Caribbean’s easternmost island can also be well-known because the birthplace of celebrity singer Rihanna, who’s a Barbadian ambassador tasked with selling training, tourism and funding.