Sandra Mason was elected late on Wednesday by a two-thirds vote of a joint session of the nation’s Home of Meeting and Senate. In a press release, the federal government known as her appointment a milestone on its “highway to republic.”
A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, the nation of slightly below 300,000 had lengthy maintained ties with the UK’s monarchy.
However many Barbadians have lengthy agitated to take away the Queen’s standing — and with it, the lingering symbolic presence of imperialism over its governance. A number of leaders this century have proposed that the nation turn into a republic.
That can lastly occur on November 30, the nation’s fifty fifth anniversary of independence from Britain, when Mason will probably be sworn in.
A former jurist who has been governor-general of the island since 2018, Mason was additionally the primary lady to serve on the Barbados Courtroom of Appeals.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley known as the election of a president “a seminal second” within the nation’s journey.
“We’ve simply elected from amongst us a girl who’s uniquely and passionately Barbadian, doesn’t faux to be the rest (and) displays the values of who we’re,” Mottley stated after Mason’s election.
A number of nations dropped the Queen as head of state within the years after they gained independence, with Mauritius the final to take action, in 1992. That makes Barbados the primary nation in practically three many years to drop the monarch.
The Queen continues to be head of state in additional than a dozen different nations that had been previously underneath British rule, together with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica.
Wazim Mowla of the Atlantic Council assume tank advised Reuters the election may gain advantage Barbados each at residence and overseas.
The transfer makes Barbados, a small growing nation, a extra reputable participant in world politics, Mowla stated, however might additionally function a “unifying and nationalistic transfer” that will profit its present management at residence.
“Different Caribbean leaders and their residents will seemingly reward the transfer, however I do not count on others to observe swimsuit,” Mowla added. “This transfer will all the time be thought-about solely whether it is in the perfect curiosity of every nation.”
Mottley stated the nation’s determination to turn into a republic was not a condemnation of its British previous.
“We stay up for persevering with the connection with the British monarch,” she stated.