Barbados can boast of a good governance structure, as it approaches its 51st Anniversary of Independence.
This point was highlighted by Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, as he delivered remarks during the 42nd Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall on Monday night.
“Some accept the mark of good governance at the country level include… accountability, political stability and a lack of violence, government effectiveness and the control of corruption.
“While these are difficult to track and measure, and have been criticised by some, it cannot be disputed that Barbados scores at a very high level with respect to these variables,” he stated.
Mr. Brathwaite said since its Independence in 1966, Barbados continues to maintain a robust government system with unquestioned democratic traditions, a supreme Constitution, a freely elected Parliament and an independent judicial system.
“To these three, one can add a free press, a professional police force, very good trade unions, thriving civil society groups and NGOs (non-governmental organisations).
“These entities can perform their duties in our country free of victimisation and political interference that abound elsewhere. Our elections are free and fair; election campaigns are unmarred by violence; there are very few judicial challenges to results, and the peaceful transition of government is a hallmark of this our blessed land,” the Attorney General said.
He further stated that Barbados had no political prisoners, neither were there members of the press imprisoned for being critical of Government.
“The citizenry is free to make its voice heard on Call-in programmes daily, or via social media, free of fear or favour, and I need not mention the political commentary that is immortalised in song during the Crop Over season every year,” he added.
Mr. Brathwaite stressed that such realities do not abound in a country that did not possess positive and secure governance markets.
Admitting that there were still some weaknesses in the country’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes, the Minister gave the assurance that they would be addressed. “Government is looking at our overall governance structure with a view to strengthening the same…,” he pointed out.