Barbados Elects First President To Replace The Queen As Head Of State

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

22 Oct 2021

During the UK’s Black History Month Barbados have elected its first-ever president as it’s new Head of State taking the first steps to becoming a republic.

Elected by a two-thirds vote of a joint session of the Barbados House of Assembly and Senate Dame Sandra Mason will take over the role held by Queen Elizabeth II since 1966.

Mason, a 72-year-old judge and former ambassador, will be sworn in on 30 November, the day of her country’s independence from British rule.

In September 2020, the government announced the plan to move to a republic status.

It had said that “the time (had) come” for Barbados to “fully leave our colonial past behind”. The change had already been recommended by a constitutional review in 1998.

Prime minister, Mia Mottley, called the change a historic landmark for the island, “How can anyone deny the rightness of the moment? Dame Sandra has been and continues to be an exemplary daughter of the soil,” Mottley said.

“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.”

The move will make Barbados a more legitimate player in global politics Wazim Mowla of the Atlantic Council think-tank said.

“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.”