The small Caribbean territory of Barbados, with a population of nearly 280,000, has announced its intention to, starting next year, put an end to the head of state of the country falls to Queen Elizabeth II of England, which will become a republic.
The Governor General of Barbados, Sandra Mason, said in a speech released Wednesday that “the time has come to leave the colonial past completely behind“, during the opening of the new parliamentary session in the Legislative Assembly.
Mason has indicated that Barbados will become a republic starting in November next year, when it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom.
“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the highest declaration of confidence in who we are and in what we are capable of achieving, “said Mason, reading a text written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
In this sense, he has assured that this decision supposes “the next step towards total sovereignty“.” Having achieved independence more than half a century ago, our country can have no doubt about its capacity for self-government, “he said.
Member of the Commonwealth of Nations
In 1998, a Barbados constitutional review commission recommended republican status for the Caribbean territory and in 2015 the then Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, said that his administration was favorable to the recommendation.
Barbados, according to its current status, continues to be member of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth of Nations), a union of 54 countries mostly former British territories.
The present status places Barbados as a constitutional monarchy with a parliament that has Elizabeth II as head of state and the governor general as its representative in the Caribbean territory.
The Queen is head of state of the United Kingdom and 15 other countries that were previously under British rule, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica and other territories of the world. The last state that stopped recognizing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state after her independence was Mauritius, in 1992.
New member of the Caribbean Community
If the announced target is met, Barbados would join Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Dominica as countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) where the head of state is an elected president.
Barbados, which has a population mainly of African origin, became independent from the United Kingdom in November 1966, the date you entered the UN.
Former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced in March 2015 that the country would replace the monarchy with a republic in 2016, which, had it been carried out, would have coincided with the 50th anniversary of independence the Barbados.