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Antigua and Barbuda Could Decide on Republic Status By 2025, PM Says

by Karen Rollins Sep 13, 2022

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Antigua and Barbuda will vote on whether to become a republic within the next three years, the country’s Prime Minister has said.

Speaking just a few days after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96, Gaston Browne revealed in an interview with ITV news that a referendum will take place on the matter by 2025, if he is re-elected next year.

While emphasising that the move was “not a form of disrespect to the monarch”, Mr Browne said the vote would simply be the “final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation”.

After his mother’s death King Charles automatically became head of state in 14 Commonwealth countries around the world – Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Jamaica’s ruling Labour Party has also stated its intention to hold a referendum on becoming a republic by 2025.

Four other Caribbean countries – Belize, the Bahamas, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis – are also reportedly considering a similar transition.

In November last year, Barbados broke ties with the British Monarchy to become the world’s newest republic. Dame Sandra Mason, who was the island’s governor-general since 2018, became the country’s first president following a vote in parliament.

Sources: BBC News, NPR and ForeignPolicy.com.