Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has named 11 Senators, and signalled her intention to ask Cabinet and Parliament to bring a constitutional amendment to allow an 18-year-old to serve for the first time.
In addition, she also indicated Government’s intention to reach out to the Opposition parties to appoint Senators in the Upper House. She made these revelations this evening during a televised addressed to the nation this evening.
“It is, in my view, an anomaly that a person who is 18 years old in Barbados has the right to vote, but they do not have the capacity to serve in the Senate of our nation….
“I propose should it be accepted, and successful, that Khaleel Kothdiwala should be that person to serve as a Senator. I have said from the very beginning if you are old enough to vote, then you must be old enough to serve. I look forward to the support of all across civil society for this fundamental change,” Ms. Mottley outlined.
The Prime Minister added that it was Government’s intention to engage in discussions with the Opposition parties which did not secure any seats to determine how best to participate in the appointment of two Opposition senators, which was provided for under the Constitution.
She said she was awaiting a legal opinion from Attorney General Dale Marshall before those formal discussions could begin.
During her address, she named 11 Senators to sit in the Senate. They are: President of the Senate, the Honourable Reginald Farley; Deputy President, the Honourable H. Elizabeth Thompson; Senator Lisa Cummins, who will also lead Government business in the Senate; Senator Dr. The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott; Senator Dr. Shantal Munroe-Knight; Senator Dr. Crystal Haynes; Senator John King: Senator Patricia Parris; Senator Shanika Roberts-Odle; Senator Lorenzo Harewood and Senator Andwele Boyce.
Meanwhile, President Dame Sandra Mason is also expected to make her announcement with respect to independent senators.