Govt says referendum needed for Antigua & Barbuda to become a republic

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Sir Rodney Williams upon his appointment as Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda/2017 photo

The process for Antigua and Barbuda to become the Caribbean’s youngest republic cannot happen overnight.

This comment was made by Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy, Dean Jonas at today’s post-cabinet media briefing.

Jonas and Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister’s Office Ambassador Lionel Hurst noted that a referendum must be held for Antiguans and Barbudians to vote on the way forward.

“That is something [that] will probably take a while. When we have to do that, there has to be an educational campaign, there has to be a process of looking at the constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, coming up with the appropriate wording. So it will take a while before Antigua and Barbuda reaches the state before we can ever contemplate that,” Jonas said.

With the General Election in Antigua and Barbuda due by March 2023, Jonas was questioned on whether the government would consider having the referendum and general election on the same day to cut costs.

The minister said his personal preference would be to have them completely separate since there is the risk of persons politicising the issue of republicanism.

The idea of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and The Bahamas becoming republics heightened after Barbados cut its final colonial tie with the United Kingdom last year.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Gaston Browne told Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son, Prince Edward, that the British Royal family’s head will remain as Antigua and Barbuda’s head of state for some time.

But he told the royal couple, who were in Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee, that there are people who would like the country to become a republic.

During the visit of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas, local politicians expressed similar views as the Antiguan Prime Minister.

Prince William voiced support for countries wishing to ditch the UK royals as he noted “relationships evolve” and “friendship endures.” -LOOP NEWS

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Yes we know that a referendum is needed to proceed to a Republican status. However, most Antiguans are for the realization of that status. It will not be as controversial an issue like the CCJ/Privy Council referendum. Please don’t start to find excuses now.

    • I guess you held a survey to know that most Antiguan will vote for that.
      Good luck with that. Even Trevor Walker threatens to leave the unitary states. Where do you think, if that is possible, where will it take them? Back in Brittens’ hands.
      There is a silent majority in my opinion that will vote against it thinking about politics if it happens under the ABLP. Or if the UPP is in office visa versa.

  2. Well a people’s referendum sounds good to me.

    On the whole the working class Antiguans have never seen any benefits whatsoever of having a monarchy that is of no economic help to the island.

    Ever since Barbados removed the royal shackles, it’s no coincidence that these people are hovering around the Caribbean regions now. But remember, before then, we rarely saw head or tail of them.

    The only Antiguans that enjoy all this silly pageantry, are the ‘knee bending’ elites, politicians and LICKSPITTLERS, who’ll bow down to these highly haughty shirkers.

    I hope this referendum comes by year end.

    TIMES UP … ⏲

  3. This is why I say stick to the 9 Lords in England they don’t me and me nah know them so at lease I know I will get fair justice. The CCJ just full of friend company and politicians

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