Submitted by the Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
Fellow Barbadians, let me say how pleased I am, that our recently held general election was incident free and fair. Let me congratulate all the candidates for maintaining the democratic process and thanks to all those hard working citizens, who ensured that the highest standards of conduct prevailed.
Let me specially congratulate our main opposition, the Barbados Labour Party, on its success although the party of which I currently have the honor of leading, the Democratic Labour Party was victorious on this occasion. As you know, the result was very close and while the Democratic Labour Party was returned to office, the voters clearly showed that they are looking to both parties to solve our problems. In other words, while we are buoyed by the victory, we realize that these are challenging times and both parties have put the health of our economy, as their main priority.
Cognizant of this reality, immediately after the results of the general election, I held discussions with The right Honorable, Mr. Owen Arthur, who was the opposition leader going into the elections and sought his position on what I call a bi-partisan cabinet to administer the affairs of our country. Mr. Arthur, while being very interested in such a possibility, suggested to me, that I ought to discuss the idea with the right Honorable Ms. Mia Mottley, who has since become the Leader of our opposition.
After very frank and intense discussions involving members of both parties, I am pleased to announce, that I have formed a cabinet, comprising of both the government and the opposition to administer the affairs of our beloved nation. This cabinet will consist of five members from the government and three from within the opposition. The cabinet, on recommendation from the eight mentioned, will also include three members chosen from civil society.
The main focus will be to approach this challenging period with unified leadership and to send a very clear single to the citizens of our country, that the elections are over and it is indeed time to put Barbados first. The cabinet I now lead will consist of the following members of Parliament and those chosen from the civil society……………….
We ask you to join us in this new era of political maturity. Let us now work not only as a unified political force but more importantly as a unified Barbados. This promises to be an exciting and fruitful journey, for our young democracy, as we approach fifty years of independence and statehood.
I thank you and may God continue to bless Barbados.
(This is the speech that Barbados deserved and still deserves. It is not too late)