Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Trade union boss elected to vacant House seat in Barbados

Published:Thursday | November 12, 2020 | 9:27 AM
Toni Moore - Contributed photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The governing Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate, Toni Moore, won a by-election on Tuesday for the vacant seat in the House of Assembly to represent the rural St George North electoral district.

Moore, the current general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, the island’s largest trade union, polled 3,154 votes, defeating her nearest rival, former Barbados batsman and West Indies captain, Floyd Reifer of the Democratic Labour Party.

Reifer received 1,327 votes.

“I want to thank the constituents of St. George North for allowing me this opportunity to serve them,” Moore said shortly after her victory was announced.

“It is certainly humbling.

“At the start of this journey, I undertook that I wanted to [visit] every single house in St. George North because I recognised that it was not only important for people to know of me, many having seen me on television in my capacity as general secretary of the BWU, but it was important for them to know me and for me to get to know them.”

Moore replaces long-serving representative Gline Clarke.

He was the incumbent for the past 26 years, but he stepped down last month and will now take up an appointment as Barbados’ High Commissioner to Canada.

The result meant that the BLP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, maintains its super majority in the House of 29-1.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the people of St. George North,” Mottley said.

“This has been a campaign without incident. This has been an election day without incident. As [Barbadians], we should be happy that we maintained that record of a strong, stable democracy.”

She added: “I am exceedingly happy. The turnout was a little lower than we would have expected, but we have a pandemic. I think we have done well being just shy of 50 percent because there were a number of people that expressed to us their concerns about coming out to vote.

“The margin of victory exceeded my expectations. Toni got almost 67 percent of the vote after seven weeks on the ground. This is a commanding and decisive victory for what I predict will be a brilliant career for the people of St. George North.”

The outcome was a major disappointment for candidates from a number of fledgling parties in the by-election.

Engineer Grenville Phillips, the leader of Solutions Barbados, was the most successful of them, gaining 95 votes.

Agriculturalist David Walrond of the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP), the candidate for the current opposition in the House, got 80 votes.

Project consultant Ambrose Grosvenor of the United Progressive Party polled 70 votes and social activist Alex Mitchell of the Barbados Free Party ended with 10.

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