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Barbados to turn Republic, president will replace Queen Elizabeth as head of state

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Posted: Friday, October 22, 2021. 2:31 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: As Barbados completes 55 years of independence from Great Britain on November 30, the Caribbean country will become a republic and its newly elected president will replace Queen Elizabeth as head of state.

On Wednesday, the House of Assembly and the Senate unanimously elected Dame Sandra Mason, the current governor-general, as Barbados’ first president. Mason will be sworn in as president on November 30.

The Barbadian government tweeted that its vote was a “historic milestone on the road to the Republic”.

Barbados has a population of approximately 288,000 inhabitants.

In support of her administration’s decision, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said she expected Mason’s election as the first President of Barbados will lead to greater unity, Nation News reported.

“This is about being able to use this as a springboard that we, as a nation, need in order to confront a completely different reality in many instances completely different than that which confronted us as a nation when we became the government of this nation just over three years ago,” Mottley said.

Leader of the Opposition, Bishop Joseph Atherley questioned the process under which Barbados is becoming a republic.

“We believe the process is wrong, it’s flawed, and both a public education programme and the formulation of a republican constitution should precede the country assuming the status of republic,” he said.

However, he said Mason is a unifying force.

“By this vote, we have elevated to the highest office in the land, in this new context, someone that we consider worthy of this signal honour, someone who has achieved excellence in her public and professional life, and someone who has worn all the trappings of her current office [Governor General] with dignity, polish and the requisite mix of pride and humility,” Attherley said.

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