Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2022. 11:55 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Antigua and Barbuda has decided to proceed with a referendum on whether or not citizens want to remove the British monarch as the country’s head of state.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced this week that the matter has to be taken to a referendum, which will be held in the CARICOM/Commonwealth nation sometime within the next three years.
Browne also said that the decision to host the referendum is a matter of timing as opposed to a matter of public pressure.
“I think most people haven’t even bothered to think about it,” Browne said.
Antigua and Barbuda is one of several Caribbean countries that have openly spoken of removing the monarch as its head of state in recent years. Back in 2021, Barbados went the full way and became a republic, naming former Governor General Sandra Mason its first president.
In March, Prime Minister John Briceno announced in the House of Representatives that the consultations on becoming a republic would be a function of the People’s Constitutional Commission, which was established under the Ministry of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform.
“Madam Speaker, the decolonization process is enveloping the Caribbean region. Perhaps it is time for Belize to take that next step in truly owning our independence. But, it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on,” Briceno said.
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