Governor General Dame Sandra Mason is expected to become Barbados’ first President when the country officially moves to Republican status on November 30.

In a conversation with Barbadians on Saturday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that Dame Sandra had agreed to be named the first president, while defending the selection of the current governor general and those selected in the past.

Mottley said she met Dame Sandra two months ago and told her “my government would be proud to see her named the first President of Barbados.” I am pleased to announce to the people of this nation today that Her Excellency Lady Sandra Mason has consented to my government appointing her at the appropriate time to be the first President of this nation.

“We believe this is the path we want to take and we would like to thank His Excellency for so graciously consenting in this manner. The truth is that it will henceforth be put to the vote of the deputies of the House of Assembly and the Senate and I have every confidence, just as we are satisfied with the performance of His Excellency, that those who sit in these chambers of assembled on both sides – Independent or Opposition, will be delighted. And I hope the people of Barbados, through their Parliament, speak with one voice, ”added Prime Minister Mottley.

She made it clear that nothing will change regarding the current status quo, except for at least one line from the national anthem written by Irvin Burgie – “The Lord has been the guide of the people for the past 300 years” .

In two years, Barbados will be considered 400 years old.

In light of the heated debates over the transformation of Barbados into a republic and the pending constitutional changes, Mottley dismissed any notion that the process was rushed and insisted she was simply finishing what the father of Independence was. , Errol Walton Barrow, started in 1966.

She said constitutional amendments would not be made until a consultation process was completed.

“If we are to have a new constitution that will reflect who we are in the third decade of the 21st century rather than who we are in the middle of the 20th century, this should first and foremost be guided by the gender of the person we want to be and the gender of people – a charter, a set of promises and commitments like Bajans to each other, no more than two or three pages.

“And that I asked the Republic’s Transitional Advisory Committee to start consulting the population. These consultations will be led by the Reverend Senator [John] Rogers as well as Chereda Grannum, ”she said.

Mottley explained that the general public will be involved in the consultation process, which she says should be completed by November 30.

She said that following this, the resolution should be submitted to both houses of parliament in time for the transition.

On constitutional changes, Mottley said a review will begin “in earnest” in January 2022, noting that the process is expected to take up to 15 months “for us to have the kind of detailed conversations backed by a secretariat. multifaceted “.

She said the secretariat should include retired judge Sherman Moore to offer advice.

She also announced that the vocal teacher at the University of the West Indies, Cynthia Barrow Giles, will be a member of this team.

“There will be other professionals who will help this secretariat to guide the country in the decision,” she said, adding that she was waiting for the Cheltenham Commission on Parliamentary Reform, which is expected to be submitted by the middle. next year.

“By then, hopefully, Barbadians, whether in the diaspora or here, will also have this opportunity month by month. [to add to the discussion], “she added. (Ah)

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