Barbados PM sworn in as country marks historic first

The Barbados prime minister, Mia Mottley, has become the island’s first woman president following the election of the long-ruling Winston Peters, who is scheduled to be sworn in to office on Monday.

Elections were held on Sunday after the Barbados Labour party was defeated in a national referendum on changing the constitution to allow Mottley to step down and allow the prime minister, David Thompson, to be prime minister. Thompson was returned to office following the close count of the ballot.

Mottley was sworn in as prime minister last month following a ruling from the country’s top court that she could continue as leader while also serving as president. The referendum was called after Peters was denied another term as president because he was the subject of a year-long impeachment process and had to stand down temporarily.

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Mottley ran on an alternative ticket under the All Working Together banner to defeat Morrison.

At the close of the count, it was the ruling Labour party that won 18 seats, one more than the 19 won by Mottley and 17 won by veteran politician Peters.

“I am looking forward to bringing common sense and prosperity to all Barbadians,” Mottley said. “It will mean working with each other and not against each other. The country will be run as it should be.”

According to the Barbados Mail, the constitution says the president has 30 days to swear in Peters and no previous prime minister can take the president’s office until he does.

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