Barbados elected its first ever president as it prepares to become a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state.
Dame Sandra Mason, 72, will be sworn in on November 30, which will mark the 55th anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain.
The first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals, Dame Mason has been Governor General since 2018.
Last year, the government announced plans to move to republic status.
It said “time [had] come “for Barbados to” completely leave our colonial past behind. “The change had already been recommended by a constitutional revision in 1998.
The historic election came Wednesday after a joint session of the House of Assembly and the Senate. Prime Minister Mia Mottley described the vote as a “landmark moment” for the nation.
With a population of approximately 285,000, Barbados is one of the most populous and prosperous Caribbean islands. Once heavily dependent on sugar exports, its economy has diversified into tourism and finance.
Barbados won’t be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic. Guyana took this step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Great Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.
Jamaica in the past has suggested it might also consider changing.
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