Wednesday, March 22

Antigua and Barbuda will hold a referendum on its ties with the British Crown

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has announced that he will hold a referendum in the country within three years for the population to decide whether they want to remain united to the British monarchy or proclaim a republic.

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“This is not an act of hostility or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step in completing that circle of independence, in ensuring that we are truly a sovereign nation,” Browne said in a statement. interview with the English network ITVpublished this Sunday by the local media.

The island country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1981 but maintains the British monarch as its head of state, as do other Caribbean nations that also plan to become republics such as Jamaica.

Browne’s statements come a few days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation as the new monarch of Carlos III.

Asked about the deadline to hold the aforementioned plebiscite, the prime minister indicated that “probably within the next three years.”

He also anticipated that, even if the monarchy were eliminated, his country would remain a committed member of the Commonwealth.

On the day of Elizabeth II’s death, Browne sent his condolences “to King Charles III and the royal family” and highlighted the role of the monarch during his long reign.

“Queen Elizabeth reigned for seven decades, earning respect and high regard from all corners of the world. Her Majesty’s leadership of the Commonwealth of Nations has been magnificent, joining hands with English-speaking states from every continent and region,” she said in a statement.

He also stressed that relations between the United Kingdom and his country during this time have been “mutually respectful and unalterable.”

Several former British colonies in the Caribbean have announced plans to embrace republicanism, an idea that gained momentum after Barbados proclaimed a republic on November 30, 2021, led by a local head of state, Sandra Mason.