BARBADOS PRIME MINISTER FREUNDEL STUART faces a tough re-election when people there vote in general elections Thursday.
His Democratic Labour Party is seeking a third successive term – though for Stewart himself, it will be his second full term – having taken over after predecessor David Thompson died while in office.
But it is widely expected that Mia Mottley, the leader of the main opposition Barbados Labour Party, will become the next Prime Minister after Thursday’s vote.
If elected, Mottley, 52, would become the country’s first female prime minister since independence from Britain in 1966.
The Barbadian economy has struggled since suffering a sharp contraction in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. Growth was minimal in the next few years until gross domestic product expanded 1.6 percent in 2016, World Bank data shows.
Mottley’s BLP have attacked Stuart over taxation and the cost of living, pledging to provide regular garbage collection, more buses for public transportation, and repair potholed roads up and down the country’s 166 square miles.