Caribbean News

Barbados Parliament opens with first woman-led Government, Mottley appoints 30 to Cabinet

Photo from Barbados Advocate

#Bridgetown, Barbados, Wednesday June 6, 2018 – The largest cabinet in the history of Barbados was sworn in over the weekend and was on Tuesday present and accounted for with the official opening of a new Parliament led by history making Hon. Mia Mottley.   

Still, the size of the newly elected Mia Mottley Government Administration is making regional headlines. Tow days after sweeping the Barbados General Elections, the Barbados Labour Party leader comprised a Cabinet equal to the number of seats won by her ‘red’party.

The Cabinet, includes 26 ministers, two parliamentary secretaries, and two special ambassadors; 30 in all.

Prime Minister, Madame Mia Mottley, is making history as the first woman elected to the office for Barbados, said in a national broadcast that:  Cabinet is “relatively large because I have not only considered the mandate given to us by the people, but also the scope of the work to be done and the level of expertise at our disposal among elected members”.

Prime Minister Mottley argued that the theory of a small Cabinet would “create an unrealistic setting for members to function effectively and to produce in this prevailing environment.”

There was also due to be a constitutional change, to allow the party with the most votes following Mottley’s BLP, to form the Opposition.  However that deal became unnecessary when the Member of Parliament for St. Michael West from Mottley’s BLP, slid across the aisle to form a one man Opposition.  

Bishop Joseph Atherley, now a former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) member told the media at Government House, following his swearing-in that, “I don’t see myself as one man against 29 others, I see myself as a singular individual on the other side of the parliamentary aisle striving for the forward advancement of the Barbadian society in terms of its economy, its politics, its governance. I think that those who represent Barbados Labour Party on the other side are equally guided in that interest and I’m motivated by it.”

Some Barbadians have taken to labelling the preacher, ‘Bishop Judas’.

The Mia Mottley Cabinet of 30 members for the 300,000 people of the island nation is almost two times larger than Jamaica’s Cabinet led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, where there are nearly 2.9 million residents; larger than The Bahamas Cabinet led by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, which also boasts 18 members for its population of 400,000 people and nine individuals more than the British Cabinet, which has 21 members for its over 65 million residents.

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