By Aaron Humes: Today, Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca, said that the chance to define our governance system will be the decision of Belizeans as part of the forthcoming People’s Constitutional Commission, which will look at questions of constitutional reform across the system.
“We have a unique opportunity in Belize, as a people, to define how we want this country to be governed moving forward and the governance structures that will exist. That allows us to look at Constitutional reform, to look at all the structures of governance in this country – including whether we want to continue with the parliamentary system, or whether we want to keep the monarch as the head of state, all of those things are questions for the Belizean people. They are the ones to ultimately decide that,” Fonseca said in the context of discussing potential changes as a result of the passing of the Head of State.
As for any suggestion of the Commonwealth breaking up either as a result of reported plans by the new King or on the initiative of the realms, Fonseca said he had no such reports: “I think the Commonwealth has survived, of course, for a very long time, and will continue to do so beyond any British monarch.”
The new King had to be placed as Head of the Commonwealth at his mother’s request at a past Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but automatically becomes King of the current Commonwealth realms, including Belize, upon the Crown’s demise. Those who previously swore an oath to “bear true faith and allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors,” among others, are still bound by that oath.
Barbados is the most recent country to sever ties with the monarchy but remains a member of the Commonwealth.
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