Six days out from Polling Day and General Elections, prime minister Mia Amor Mottley has said on the political platform that she may be retiring from elective politics after another term.
I know that one in every two prime ministers before me have died in office. Let us not fail to understand what this job involves
With three and half years under her belt as prime minister, 28 years as the St Michael North East member of parliament and over 30 years in politics overall, the country’s eighth prime minister and first female prime minister said:
“It [this election] is a stop to continue the transformation of this country, and I say this to you in all humility, I may not get there at the end of this journey with you because the transformation is more than five years. I have said over and over that I believe this will be my last term.”
A loud outcry and boisterous objections came from the sea of red supporters gathered at the mega meeting in Six Roads, St Philip, last night, when she made this statement. So much so, that she had to ask persons to “cease and desist”.
Continuing, she added, “This country must move to the level where it recognises that it has abundant talent that must be given opportunity to serve.”
Calling to mind, the Hon P. J. Patterson, she said that she would follow his Caribbean example. The Jamaican prime minister served in office for 14 years before relinquishing the reins.
However, if she gets five more years by winning this 2022 General Election, prime minister Mottley, who is the first prime minister since the change to a parliamentary Republic, would have only been at the helm for eight years, yet she believes that younger minds are ready for the task as well.
“Let me do my work to transform this nation and let me step aside and let this team continue the work.
“I have been here for 32 years and I know what it is. I know the sacrifice. I know the fact that I’m the eighth prime minister in this country. I know that one in every two prime ministers before me have died in office. Let us not… fail to understand what this job involves. It is 24/7/365 and I don’t ask for no sympathy, but I also know that a country that has educated people has within it people to rise up and lead.”
But not taking anything for granted at this time during the campaign to January 19, she urged party supporters to turn up at the polls come Wednesday at 6am, with at least five eligible persons each to help secure her team of 30 candidates as the next duly-elected officials once more.
Editor’s Note: As of July 2021, in accordance with the Constitution of Barbados (prior to transitioning to a parliamentary Republic), the prime minister and ministers now receive vacation leave.
Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries (Remuneration and Allowances) (Amendment) Act, 2021.
The holder of an office set out in column 1 of the Schedule is entitled to 4 weeks’ paid vacation leave annually for every complete year of service. The annual vacation leave of a Minister, other than the Prime Minister, may be given and taken in one period or more, if the Prime Minister and the other Minister so agree. Whenever the Prime Minister wishes to be granted vacation leave he shall make application in writing to the Governor-General setting out the date of commencement and termination of the period of leave. The Prime Minister’s annual vacation leave may be given and taken in one period or more, if the Prime Minister and GovernorGeneral so agree. Whenever the Prime Minister is on vacation leave section 67 of the Constitution shall apply. The person referred to in subsection (1), other than the Prime Minister, who wishes to be granted vacation leave shall make application in writing to the Prime Minister setting out the date of commencement and termination of the period of leave. Whenever the person referred to in subsection (2) is absent from office on vacation leave section 68 of the Constitution shall apply.”….