Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mia Mottley takes control of Opposition in Barbados

Mia Mottley (Photo: Nation News)
Mia Mottley is back at her old job as Opposition Leader following last week's general election in Barbados in which the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was returned to office with a slim majority. 

BLP executive member Gline Clarke made the announcement in the presence of the party's parliamentary caucus. Former PM and BLP leader Owen Arthur was absent.

"As secretary of the parliamentary group, I just want to announce that Mia Mottley was elected as Leader of the Opposition," Clarke said.

Clark told reporters Arthur didn't attend the event because he wanted to give the opposition legislators a free hand to elect a new leader.

"The party is united. Mr Arthur felt he would give the members of the parliamentary grouping the freedom to chose the future of the Barbados Labour Party and we thank him and respect him for that.

"Mr Arthur has indicated he would be a full member of the House of Assembly and we look forward to that," Clarke added.

Read related story:

Barbados voters prove pollsters wrong; re-elect DLP led by PM Freundel Stuart

Arthur, who led the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the election, had taken over as Opposition Leader in 2010 from Mottley and had hoped to win last Thursday's election.

Mottley was first chosen leader of the BLP in January 2008 within days of Arthur resigning as the BLP leader following the party's defeat in the general election. 

David Thompson led the DLP in that election and won 20 of the 30 seats. He died in office in 2010 and was succeeded by Fruendel Stuart whose successful DLP campaign last week caused the DLP to win again, giving Stuart his first mandate as party leader.

Mottley is the first woman to lead the party and became the country's first female Opposition Leader on 7 February 2008. 

On October 18, 2010, Mottley's appointment was revoked following a vote of no-confidence of five of her Parliamentary Colleagues. The five MPs chose Arthur as their leader.

On Monday there was a reversal with all the BLP members supporting Mottley, whose political career began in 1991. 

In her first attempt at electoral politics Mottley was defeated by the late Leroy Brathwaite. She was later appointed a senator and served between 1991 and 1994 where she was Shadow Minister of Culture and Community Development.

She also served on numerous Parliamentary Joint Select Committees on areas ranging from Praedial Larceny and Domestic Violence.

In September 1994 at the age of 29 Mottley was appointed Minister of Education and Youth Affairs and also served as Chair of the Caricom Standing Committee of Ministers of Education.

In August 2001 she was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs, the first woman to hold that position in Barbados.

She also served as Deputy Prime Minister. In February 2006 Prime Minister Arthur appointed Mottley Minister of Economic Affairs and Development, a post she also held until the BLP's election defeat in 2008.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
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