Barbados Politics

Curious about politics in Barbados? This page may shed some light.

BARBADOS - Prime Minister Mia Mottley
Mia Mottley
8th Prime Minister of Barbados
Assumed office
25 May 2018
Image credit

Barbados has been an independent country since 30 November 1966. It functions as a parliamentary republic modelled on the British Westminster system. The head of state is the President of Barbados – presently Sandra Mason – elected by the Parliament of Barbados for a term of four years, and advised on matters of the Barbadian state by the Prime Minister of Barbados, who is head of government. There are 30 representatives within the House of Assembly, the lower chamber of Parliament.

The Constitution of Barbados is the supreme law of the country. Legislation is passed by the Parliament of Barbados but does not have the force of law unless the President grants her assent to that law. The right to withhold assent is absolute and cannot be overridden by Parliament. The Attorney General heads the independent judiciary.

Political culture

Barbados functions as a two-party system. The dominant political parties are the Democratic Labour Party and the incumbent Barbados Labour Party. Since independence on 30 November 1966, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has governed from 1966 to 1976; 1986 to 1994; and from 2008 to 2018; and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has governed from 1976 to 1986; 1994 to 2008; and from 2018 to present.

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