A Barbados Constitution Amendment Will Change Eligibility Rule for Senators

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale Marshall, speaking to reporters during a press conference following the swearing in of 10 out 12 Senators. (Photo Credit: C.Pitt/BGIS)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday June 4, 2018
– One of the first orders of business when Parliament meets tomorrow for the first time since the May 24 polls, will be to amend aspects of the Constitution to allow citizens not resident here to be sworn in as Senators.

At last week’s swearing in of 10 Government Senators, it was revealed that the other two Senators-designate Rawdon Adams and Kay McConney could not take the oath because Barbados’ 1966 Constitution stipulates that a Senator must be an ordinary resident in the country for 12 consecutive months before being appointed.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale Marshall pointed out that Adams, the son of late Prime Minister,Tom Adams, relocated to Barbados almost 12 months ago, while McConney currently resides in Canada, and has to resume residence here.

“This means that we will have to make a Constitutional amendment to provide that in order to be qualified to be appointed to be a Senator you have to be a citizen, which we think is more appropriate than being ordinary resident,” he said.

He noted that Barbados exists in a very global community, with Barbadians serving with great distinction across the diaspora and other parts of the world and, therefore, “it is important for us to make this amendment so…all individuals who have a contribution to make to Barbados to do so.

The amendment is expected to be made tomorrow when Parliament officially opens with the delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.

Marshall said that after the amendment to the Constitution, Adams and McConney would be sworn in and the Senate is expected to meet with its full complement on Wednesday.

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