LONDON, KOMPAS.com – The accession of King Charles III sparked renewed calls in Caribbean countries to remove the king from their head of state.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II has sparked an outpouring of condolences from around the world, but in some former colonies there are questions about the future of the monarchy.
With the accession of King Charles III to the British throne, politicians and activists across the Caribbean have renewed their calls to remove him as their head of state.
Here are the debates that have arisen around the Commonwealth of Nations, as reported AlJazeera.
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The Commonwealth of Nations is a political association of 56 countries, most of which were former British colonies.
Voluntary associations cover 2.5 billion people worldwide. Togo and Gabon are the new members of the year, although they have never been under British rule.
Of these 56 countries, 14 are part of the Commonwealth of Nations which retained King Charles III as monarch after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Besides the UK, these countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Kitts- and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. .
Other countries became independent after Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952. Many left the monarchy, but the late Queen saw the Commonwealth as a way to unite nations.
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At a summit in 2018, Commonwealth leaders confirmed that Charles would follow him as head of the organization when Queen Elizabeth died.
However, calls for change are growing across the Commonwealth and several countries have expressed an interest in becoming republics.
Countries considering switching
Among the Commonwealth countries considering changes are Antigua and Barbuda, Jamica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Shortly after Charles was confirmed as King of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he intended to hold a Republican referendum “within the next three years”.
“It is not an act of hostility or differences between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the last step to complete this process of independence,” he told the channel. ITV News.
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Calls for change are also mounting in Jamaica, where Prime Minister Andrew Holness told Charles’ son William in March that the country was “moving forward” as an independent nation.
An August survey showed that 56% of Jamaicans support the removal of the British monarch as head of state.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves proposed a referendum in July but said he would only go ahead with it if there was bipartisan support.
The British nobles had said they would not stand in his way.
“I want to make it clear, as I have said before, that the constitutional arrangement of each member, whether as a republic or a monarchy, is solely for the decision of each member state,” Charles told a summit. of the Commonwealth in June this year. .
Which country wants to remain a Commonwealth?
So far, the countries that wish to remain in the Commonwealth are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that her government would not seek to become a republic after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ardern said she believed New Zealand would eventually become a republic, and it would probably be in her lifetime, but there were more pressing issues for her government.
In Canada, Republicans are in the minority and on Saturday (9/10/2022), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated the country’s allegiance to the new king.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, we affirm our loyalty to the new King of Canada, His Majesty King Charles III, and offer him our full support,” Trudeau said.
The question of Australia becoming a republic is a hotly debated topic. Polls over the years have shown nearly equal support for monarchies and Republicans.
Read also: List of Commonwealth countries
Australia held a referendum to become a republic in 1999, but narrowly lost.
Asked in a radio interview whether the death of Queen Elizabeth II brings Australia closer to becoming a republic, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said now was not the time to talk about it.
Leaders of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have voiced support for the monarchy in recent days.
What is the position of the remaining five countries?
The remaining five countries are the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.
Barbados’ decision to sack the Queen as head of state in November 2021 is seen as a boost to Republican goals, and Belize has said it wants to follow suit.
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In the Bahamas, following the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prime Minister Phillip Davis said he hoped that during the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence, “there will be lively discussions and debates about our future: about who we are and what we want to be.”
People in Grenada have also questioned the role of the crown in the country and Arley Grill, chairman of the Grenada National Reparations Committee, said earlier this year that the monarchy had lost its “relevance and meaning “.
In April, Saint Kitts and Nevis also indicated its intention to review its relationship with the monarchy.
“Decades of progress have taught us that now is the time for St. Kitts and Nevis to review its monarchical system of government and engage in dialogue to transition to a new status,” said Shawn Richards, Deputy Premier minister.
In Saint Lucia, there is also a call to become a republic. In April, former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said he supported the call.
“I believe, like many others, that the time has come to make this change a republic,” he said.
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