Today is voting day in Barbados where citizens of the Island will elect a new government in a snap election called by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
As the Prime Minister wrapped up her short campaign, having announced the elections on December 27, 2021, she underscored the influence of persons from Guyana on the island.
Barbados has taken steps to send back home a large number of Guyanese workers starting from 2008 onwards and with a new call for Guyanese to return to boost key sectors like construction and agriculture, the Barbadian leader has talked up equipping citizens to do just that.
Mottley observed that there is an ongoing construction boom on the island and said citizens must be prepared for the jobs because Guyanese were no longer coming.
“The last time the Guyanese came. The Guyanese not coming anymore. They got oil. They get oil. Don’t get tie up,” she said in her last political campaign this week.
To make her point, Mottley said “These are the things we have come to you in these elections to discuss. To give you skills.”
She told her countryfolks that her government would continue to equip them with the skills needed to take the economy forward.
Skilled Guyanese in almost every sector including teachers and medical personnel have been going to Barbados for decades to seek employment.
In recent years, those numbers have been declining. Mottley told Bajans that the skills must now come from within and young people must now learn basic carpentry and masonry, promising that if she is returned to power on Wednesday such training will start in March.
It is likely that she will be returned as the ninth prime minister of Barbados and the second prime minister since the country transitioned to a parliamentary Republic last year.
Mottley is the leader of the Barbados Labor Party and the country’s first female prime minister, having won the May 2018 election for a five-year term.
The next election would normally not have been due until 2023.
The Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats of the lower house of the Barbadian parliament in the 2018 election and currently retains 29 of those seats.
Barbadians headed to polls from 6am and will continue until 6pm as usual.