After the elections in May, the Barbadian parliament did not have a single opposition member. All seats were taken over by members of the leading party led by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
The absence of the opposition compelled Prime Minister Mottley to call for a Constitutional amendment to give the opposition two seats in a bid to accommodate alternative views on government operations.
After this devastating loss, the main opposition, Democratic Labour Party (DLP), held internal elections at its 63rd annual general conference which opened Monday.
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The party elected a woman, Verla De Peiza, as the new leader. She replaces former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who had stepped down following the election defeat.
De Peiza is not new to politics. She was a former government senator and had even run and lost twice Christ Church West seat. She is currently tasked with rebuilding the party.
“If nothing else gives us the impetus to move forward it must be the fear of failing. This party is bigger than us. This party has a responsibility to this country and we are equal to that task. There is, without doubt, a mammoth task ahead of us….We have to repair breaches internally and externally and because I have no interest in wallowing in the wilderness for longer than is absolutely necessary, we must step up and act and address these matters frontally without fear, without favour,” she said in her speech after her win.
De Peiza becomes the first female leader of the DLP.