Barbados electoral body confirmed the closure of all polling stations, which was carried out with biosecurity protocols in the framework of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Voting Continues Calmly in Barbados
The good affluence of voters marked the electoral day; polling stations opened from 06H00 until 18H00 so that citizens could exercise their vote to elect 30 seats in Parliament.
It should be noted that these elections are the first to be held in Barbados since it became a Republic on November 30, 2021.
The electoral roll registered by the authorities is of approximately 266,330 persons, who exercised their right to vote for the first time, and 108 candidates were presented for the contest.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who leads the Barbados Labor Party (BLP), and the lawyer Verla De Peiza for the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), will measure their forces in early elections since they were initially scheduled for 2023.
This Wednesday, at least 3,700 election officials are on duty to ensure a smooth electoral process.
Local media reported lines of voters from the opening of the polling stations, between 05H30 and 06H00 local time, until approximately 09H30 hours, and attributed this initial congestion to the fact that many voters decided to go to the polls before going to work.
According to the Electoral Commission, Barbados has a population of 280,000, of which 266,330 will go to the polls. A new government will be elected for the next five years, and 108 candidates have been nominated for 30 seats.
Testimonies published by local media indicate that biosecurity protocols contributed to lengthening the voting time. The polling stations closed at 18:00 local time.
A Labor Party leader, Wilfred Abrahams, told reporters that he was pleased to see voters keeping their physical distance and adhering to protocol.
Since the emergence of the Covid-19 outbreak, Barbados has accumulated 35,734 infections and 269 deaths due to the virus. Some 5,000 to 6,000 registered voters, who are currently active cases, will not be able to go to the polling stations.
The president of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC), Leslie Haynes, estimated this Tuesday that the results of the electoral day could be delayed due to the application of the referred biosecurity norms.
The expert valued that the training of the electoral personnel can help so that the delays are not excessive, but acknowledged that they could extend more than usual.
On November 30, 2021, Barbados became a republic when it officially ceased to have Queen Elizabeth II of England as head of state, breaking centuries of colonial past.