Sorting by


St Kitts and Nevis PM says commonwealth country is ‘not totally free’ with King Charles as head of state

St Kitts and Nevis will begin public consultation on becoming a republic in the next few years, the country’s Prime Minister has said.

Dr Terrance Drew said the Caribbean nation is “not totally free” as long as King Charles III remains head of state.

As coronation celebrations continue in the UK today, Dr Drew said the formal process to gauge public opinion on the transition to a republic would start during his leadership.

The leader of the dual island nation told the BBC: “The head of state still resides in the monarchy of England and so we are not totally free yet.”

Dr Drew also supported calls for the British monarch to apologise for its historic links to the slave trade.

The King has publicly expressed “regret” over slavery but not issued an apology for the monarchy’s historic ties to it.

In April, Buckingham Palace revealed its support for a research project – co-sponsored by Historic Royal Palaces, which runs a number of palaces – that is studying the monarchy’s involvement in the enslavement of African people.

In a statement, the Palace said: “This is an issue that His Majesty takes profoundly seriously.”

The research project has been welcomed by Dr Drew.

He said: “I think that acknowledging that… something wrong was done, acknowledging it and apologising for it, is a step in the right direction.”

The dual-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis is one of several countries in the Caribbean making plain their intentions to transition to a republic.

Days before King Charles was crowned, Jamaica’s prime minister Andrew Holness said the country’s 60th year of independence, which provided an opportunity to make a symbolic break with the monarchy and our colonial history.

“Mr Holness said: “An important part of our self-determination as a country is the re-crafting of our constitution to reflect our Jamaican values.

“Our 60th year of independence, and the associated momentum, presents a profound opportunity for us to enact, update and replace inherited laws with those crafted under our own hand.”

A senior Jamaican politician revealed the island has accelerated plans to become a republic, with the prospect that a referendum could be held as soon as next year.

Mr Holness previously said the vote would be held by 2025.

Jamaica’s minister for legal and constitutional affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, told Sky News: “While the United Kingdom is celebrating the coronation of the King, that is for the United Kingdom.

“Jamaica is looking to write a new constitution… which will sever ties with the monarch as our head of state.”

Ms Malahoo Forte added: “Time has come. Jamaica in Jamaican hands. We have to get it done, especially with the transition in the monarchy. My government is saying we have to do it now.

“Time to say goodbye.”

Speaking to Commonwealth leaders last year, King Charles said “each member’s constitutional arrangement, as republic or monarchy, is purely a matter for each member country to decide”.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button