Oct 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dame Sandra Mason elected as first president of Barbados

Dame Sandra Mason.

Dame Sandra Mason. Photo: John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Dame Sandra Mason will be Barbados' very first president after she secured two-thirds of the vote in the country's two houses of Parliament this week.

Why it matters: Mason was elected as the first ever president of Barbados after the island announced in September 2020 that it would become a republic and Queen Elizabeth II would be removed as the island nation's head of state.

The big picture: Mason, 72, will be sworn in on Nov. 30, which will mark the country's 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

  • Mason has been the governor general since 2018 when she was appointed by the queen.

What they're saying: "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," Mason said in a speech delivered in September, according to Reuters.

  • "Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state," Mason said. "This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving."
  • Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley called the election a "seminal moment" in the country's journey, according to a statement.
  • “The time has come for us to express the full confidence in ourselves as a people, and to believe that it is possible for one born of this nation to sign off finally and completely," Mottley added.
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