BLP must ‘make it right’ for senators
It will take an amendment of the Constitution to get two of the 12 Government nominees into the Senate.
It was announced yesterday that Rawdon Adams, son of late Prime Minister Tom Adams, and Kay McConney, the proposed Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology, were outside of the 12-month residency requirement.
In a bid to remedy the oversight, the Mia Mottley administration plans to change the Constitution at the official opening of Parliament on Tuesday to allow Adams and McConney to take their places.
Only persons who are citizens and have been living here for the last 12 consecutive months qualify.
“We exist in a very global community and Barbadians have served with great distinction across the diaspora and in other parts of the world,” Attorney General Dale Marshall said.
“And, therefore, we think that it is important for us to make this amendment so as to allow for all voices to contend and all individuals who have a contribution to make to Barbados to do so,” he added.
Adams moved back here from France last year, while McConney, a former Consul General in Toronto, still resides in Canada.
Marshall said he expected the amendments to be made following Tuesday’s Throne Speech and noted the House of Assembly would be adjourned to allow the amendments to be facilitated.
Yesterday’s ceremony at Government House, saw Sir Richard Cheltenham sworn in as president of the Senate and Rudolph Greenidge as deputy president.
Other senators sworn in were Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Jerome Walcott, who will also be Leader of Government Business; Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs Lucille Moe; Lisa Cummins, Dr Romel Springer, Rudy Grant, Lynette Holder, Damian Sands and Dr Crystal Haynes.
The Attorney General also noted a second amendment would follow to allow Governor General Dame Sandra Mason to appoint two Opposition senators.
The Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats in the May 24 election and there is no official Opposition.
“There is some disagreement between the legal luminaries as to what the Constitution truly provides. And in that regard, we think it unsafe to proceed on the basis of the Constitution as it is presently set out,” Marshall said.
Last Saturday, Mottley announced she would offer those two seats to the Democratic Labour Party (DLP), but there has been some division in the former administration’s camp on whether to accept.
Marshall said he had yet to officially receive a response from the DLP, but suspected the party would accept.
Following the amendments, Marshall said the Senate would meet on Wednesday. (AD)