Mottley’s Decision Rejected

The decision by Prime Minister Mia Mottley to reverse the controversial appointment of 18 year old Khaleel Kothdiwala is unfortunate. It was evident from exchanges in the last session of the Upper House the amendment to the Constitution to allow Khaleel’s sitting would not have garnered support from independent senators.

Immediately after the January 19, 2022 general election Prime Minister Mottley announced Kothdiwala’s as a BLP nominee for the Senate with the justification she was fulfilling an election promise to bring the youth into “the centre of governance and national determination…if you are old enough to vote then you must be old enough to serve”. All who have followed politics in Barbados are patently aware Khaleel’s politics is heavily influenced from Roebuck Street – and it is right to practice the politics of his choice.

The prime minister became swell headed by a second 30 to zero victory in the last general election and took for granted Khaleel’s appointment would have been rubber stamped by the Senate. Lest we forget, the Senate is currently involved indirectly in a fight for its legitimacy. Although the constitutional motion brought by former Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite was tossed out by Justice Cicely Chase, legal counsel Garth Patterson signaled appeal documents will be filed this week to challenge the Upper Chamber doing business with 18 appointed Senators instead of 21.

From comments posted to BU and aired in other fora, those opposed to the appointment of Khaleel took umbrage to the lack of national consultation about the unprecedented decision to add an 18 year old BLP supporter to the Senate to represent youth matters. Bear in mind Mottley- also in controversial and contentious circumstances- transitioned Barbados to a Republic in November 2021. The dissenting cry then was – why not complete an exercise of national consensus to determine a new constitution to make the process to a republic comprehensive.

At the root of the uncertainty muddying the governance process is an election result that rejected opposition candidates AND the unwillingness of elected members of parliament to cross the floor to manufacture an opposition. This is interesting against the rumour Mottley called a snap general election to quell a political mutiny.  

There is also the contention that President Sandra Mason is partly responsible by her refusal to appoint two apposition Senators given the outcome of the general election. Had she appointed two Opposition Senators and Mottley a standin for Kothdiwala there would possibly have been no legal challenge brought and Mottley would have avoided the political embarrassment of having to withdraw Khaleel’s appointment.

It is what it is as the popular saying goes. We wait to endure the Court Appeal process and possible request for leave to appeal to the CCJ. In the meantime there is the potential lawmaking in parliament will be disrupted if Justice Chase decision is overturned.

At a time the country is battling to manage economic challenges acerbated by the pandemic we have become mired in process because of off flippant decision making. It is ironic the Upper House that is currently under challenge in the Barbados courts is responsible for Mottley’s decision to remove Kothdiwala. 

We are living in interesting times.

485 thoughts on “Mottley’s Decision Rejected

  1. A blessed and wonderful Sunday to all.
    To me, it doesn’t matter what God you follow, be nice, be honest an be respectful of your fellowman.

    HAGD Barbados

  2. Dame+Bajans March 25, 2022 2:27 PM

    @”X”, rather than spending so much time criticizing Bajans on a Bajan blog, why not spend more time helping your fellow Sri Lankans?

    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?

    BU is a bad habit
    like a Jones
    heroin hang up

  3. DavidMarch 27, 2022 8:18 AM

    If the country is divided why the DLP or any other opposition party have failed to win a constituency in the last two general elections? Looking like a third so far.

    This last election was foisted upon the people in an unconstitutional fashion
    Hence no healing will occur
    The result was all but prepared on a pandemic wicket in sight of all but an empty stand
    Go figure
    The fraud is what maintained the status quo
    What election lol

  4. Dems let Senate seats slip
    By Ezra Alleyne
    Within recent years, my will to fight to live and “to get better” has been fortified by the inspiring words, skill and care of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) surgeons, doctors and nurses, who wrestled to free me from the iron grip of the Grim Reaper in a medical tug of war lasting seven “touch-and-go” weeks.
    Friday morning last, I silently thanked them once again. Without the strength gained from their “mental implants” I would surely have “passed out” when the latest official spoutings of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) splattered all over the airwaves.
    As I drove along Grazettes Road, the car radio blared the contents of the official press release. The DLP was asking about the amendment to Section 75 (a) of the Constitution now that the Amendment Bill was withdrawn. It read in part: “We would hope that the Government would seek to redraft the document to reflect the omission of the contentious clauses, revisit the debate on the provision for an Opposition and find time and space for a full parliamentary debate on constitutional reform.”
    The Dems were, as I heard it, urging the Government, led by Mia Amor Mottley, to get on with passing the amendment, minus the lowering age clause. I was shocked beyond words.
    When the Prime Minister first mooted the amendment of Section 75(a) the DLP ignored the ancient advice that one “should not look a gift horse in the mouth” and began looking for false or decaying teeth in the animal’s mouth.
    I had the distinct impression then that the DLP was not interested in the Prime Minister’s approach. One former senator, Rev. David Durant, spoke about creating an Opposition outside the House of Assembly, on the one hand; but Cora Cumberbatch, a veteran DLP insider, expertly urged the DLP to accept the seats and choose two of any four youngsters as senators. As usual, she was making sense. As usual it was ignored.
    Bill withdrawn
    Anyway, after some speeches in the Senate, the bill, which would also have lowered the entry age to the Senate, has been withdrawn. The DLP is now in potter, as we sometimes say. So what now?
    There is or was a view that the present unamended Constitution allows the President to appoint the usual seven senators and also the two Opposition senators when there is no Leader of the Opposition in these circumstances.
    It is a view which seems to resonate within parts of the DLP.
    I fundamentally disagree with this view. Section 75a does not, I think, cover the situation. But we shall soon know.
    Other learned commentators seem to agree that the wording of Section 75 is very far from clear. We also have the experience of the Trinidadian government which some years ago repealed the equivalent of our Section 75 (a) and replaced it with crystal clear language which, if we had it, would cover the present situation.
    Another learned commentator five years ago, speaking on the said Section 75 (a), made it clear that he does not think that Section 75 (a), as drafted, solves the current problem. His article makes sense. I agreed with him then and I agree with him now.
    However nimble one’s legal mind may be, the section has to be read bearing in mind the precise words of the section. I say no more now.
    I think Mottley is in many ways more flexible in the practice of her powers as Prime Minister. Both Adams and Barrow would, I think, have exercised their power in a more rigid manner. No such offer would have been made to the opposing side.
    The public record will show Barrow declaring in the House of Assembly that if any of his ministers had a problem with him, he always advised them to go and check the Constitution and come back. He declared that after consulting the Constitution they no longer had the problem. In other words, it was his way . . . or . . . .
    Readers will also recall that when there were only two Opposition seats in the Lower House (David Thompson and Denis Kellman) that Thompson would not allow Kellman to act as Leader of the Opposition when he (Thompson ) had to leave the island on business.
    That is how tough some leaders are and can be. Mottley seems to have a more flexible view of her powers and has already given up some of them.
    We are fortunate to have such a leader at this historical juncture. The Dems should have cooperated instead of looking into the “gift horse’s” mouth.
    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

  5. My ‘anger’ has been focused on the disappearance of the DLP. They need to realize that the DLP of post-2018 is a mere shadow of it’s former self. They believe that they are a vibrant half of the duopoly and do not seem to realize that zero is half of nothing.

    This new DLP, if it loses an election disappears, goes to sleep, get caught by surprise when an election is called and fight each other for the leadership position.

    Offered a gift horse, instead of accepting the gift and then biting the hand that feeds them , act as if they have won more seats than other 3rd parties. Now, that they realized that government can and will go on without them, walking around with their hats in the hands hoping to get what they refused.

    Their next step will be to awaken from their slumber for a day or two and ‘cuss’ El President if they don’t like two appointed senators.

    I really like Dawn Marie Armstrong. I was hoping that she would keep her voice throughout this period.

  6. Boys and girls, there is a lesson here.
    Never give up on a person. I almost wrote off EA and then today, he delivers from 3-points range.

    What a pleasant surprise.

  7. All will continue to mock and draw upon what the Blackett words mean to the Dlp asking for clarity on the two seats offered
    All seems to forget that the offer was not one of Mottley offering
    Yes the Dlp have every right legally to get this matter settled according to the law of the constitution and not under Mottley Law
    Going down the road of giving the PM absolute power would one day come back to bite all in the arse
    Hopefully all would remember how it all started if that day arrived

  8. Keep up the division it would not work in favour of the country
    Besides the absence of the two seats
    Who will fill the absence of the opposition
    There is no opposition even having two seats filled
    Parliament is not fully constructed
    Keep the smoke and mirrors burning
    London bridge is on the verge of burning down

  9. I cannot accept the proposition that Mia must call elections until one or more members of her party loses.

    When one look at the money spent on campaigns, a rogue with $75,000 dollars can launch the rum and corned beef party with one good candidate.

    Success at the polls would return more than the outlay.

    Anyone wishing to join me and buy a seat …

  10. @TLSN
    Long ago, I realised it was not up to me to determine how another person chose to identify.
    You are entitled to determine, and have opinion, on if someone is African enough. This is akin to the ‘high whites’ who are apt to criticize another for not being ‘white enough’.
    Yet to call someone of ‘mixed’ heritage a mutt? It is clearly a derogatory term.

  11. Not only was the offer wrongly executed within the legal framework of the Constitution
    But PM showed total disrespect for the office of the Presidency whom by law had to performed such a duty in her role as President
    Many who are beating down and thumping chest as to what the Dlp should have done are simply trying to treat the symptom instead of the cause of the symptom
    One can clearly see that if the dlp had taken the offer there would be a possibility to challenge the two seats under the law which states that the seats were not offered within the law of the Constitution v
    Mia created this problem not the Dlp
    They can sit this out and watch how the country heads done the road on uneven wheels running on bald tires
    Ezra Alleyne is a political hack
    Patterson is not

  12. Seems like we have political hacks all over….lol
    “But PM showed total disrespect for the office of the Presidency whom by law had to performed such a duty in her role as President”
    How do you know the President didn’t give the PM the go ahead to speak? It was the President’s discretionary decision to offer the two seats to the DLP?
    I know you dislike the PM, but, the issue lies with the President, whose has failed to communicate HER decision.
    Meanwhile, all the D’s had to do once the offer was announced, was to contact the President and confirm this was her discretionary decision, as communicated by the PM.
    After that there is NO constitutional concern (unless u r JK).
    The President, via the Constitution, has the right to pick whomever she chooses. And that includes delegating the actual choice to others, including the DLP. Or the PM. But the President should communicate this.

  13. Northern

    How do you know the President didn’t give the PM the go ahead to speak? It was the President’s discretionary decision to offer the two seats to the DLP
    If so had happened the PM out of good goverance. Respect for the Constitution and respect for all the people should have made such known and the offer was given the blessings of the President
    Since that was never said the only option left would be that knowing what transpired by way of PM
    Furthermore more than three months have passed and the President has said nothing
    Her silence also speaks volumes as to how she intends to interact in a.nontransparent manner with the people
    Needles to say which does not help or have served purpose to find resolution
    The President has exposed the side of her which speaks to being arrogant and don’t carish
    No good for a person who swore to take charge of the country interest

  14. DavidMarch 27, 2022 3:09 PM

    If she has said nothing it logically means you don’t know and therefore shouldn’t assume.

    Logic therefore dictates instead of having a closed mouth policy
    The better alternative would be that of being open mouthed in order not to present a bowl of half cooked porridge
    Good goverance is guided by law not by Mottley Law

  15. DavidMarch 27, 2022 2:29 PM

    The DEMS were advised by David Thompson’s former law partner Garth?
    Garth is unlike Ezra who has become an echo chamber for the PM in his weekly postings and political ramblings

  16. @ David

    It isn’t any ‘well kept secret’ that Ezra Alleyne is a member of the BLP….. and his opinions on political matters are, more often than not, supportive of that political party.

    But, isn’t former Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, “an echo chamber” for the DLP?

    Do you actually believe Brathwaite took an APOLITICAL stance, when he filed a civil suit against ‘government,’ “challenging the constitutionality of Parliament…….. alleging that, with only 18 senators, the Senate was not properly constituted and, therefore, by extension, neither was Parliament?

  17. @ David

    All that happened in this scenario was Mottley tried to circumvent the Constitution in an attempt to ensure two seats in the Senate would have been secured for the ‘other half of the duopoly.’

    After the ‘hullabaloo’ and ‘floor show’ for their ‘yard-fowl supporters, foot soldiers and operatives,’ the DEMS are now ‘behind the scenes,’ quietly ‘saying’ they should’ve accepted the offer of two Senate seats in the first place.
    While sending their ‘foot soldiers’ to BU, to convince whoever they can, that there are significant differences between the DLP and BLP.

    • @Artax

      It seems so.

      The upside to this ‘governance’ struggle we are currently processing is that it will help to make a stuffy topic for many more transparent.

  18. TheOGazertsMarch 27, 2022 9:24 AM

    I cannot accept the proposition that Mia must call elections until one or more members of her party loses.



    The writ for elections is not issued by any politician but the Head of State.

    The longer Ms. Mockley draws this out hoping against hope that the DLP accepts the 2 Senate seats the greater will be the pressure on the 30 squatters in the House of Assembly to resign.

    I think the DLP would be crazy to accept the two seats when they can leave Ms. Mockley and Ms. Mason to further screw themselves up and gain advantage.

    The only way for the two senators to be appointed is if the Leader of the Opposition advises the Head of State which persons he/she has nominated.

    Any other way is unconstitutional.

  19. Time to suggest a dynamic duo. Since we cannot have Batman and Robin..
    Bishop Atherley
    Don’t tell me what is possible, name your own dream duo

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