Barbados, smallest of English-speaking Commonwealth nations, elects its first president in centuries

Barbados has elected its first president in history, changing from an English-speaking monarchy to a first-of-its-kind post in which it will elect its own leader, according to the National News Service. At Barbados’ election…

Barbados, smallest of English-speaking Commonwealth nations, elects its first president in centuries

Barbados has elected its first president in history, changing from an English-speaking monarchy to a first-of-its-kind post in which it will elect its own leader, according to the National News Service.

At Barbados’ election on Sunday, members of the country’s Lower House, which includes both members of Parliament and senators, voted for Nigel Clarke, a member of the Tobago Organisation of East Indian Congress, to lead the Caribbean nation.

Barbados has not been represented at the head of state position of the United Kingdom since King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II took office in 1878. At the last election in October 2016, Barbados’ then-Prime Minister Freundel Stuart lost to former cricket star and farmer Mia Mottley.

While the former president of the Lower House, Professor Percival Geoffrey Bynoe, represented the island in the regional body, the Commonwealth, Monday’s vote marked the first time Barbados would elect a president.

“This morning was truly historic and it has provided our people the opportunity to take a step forward in our building of a just, stable and prosperous Barbados,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said after the election.

It is highly unlikely that Clarke will be sworn in before Wednesday.

Click for more from the National News Service.

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