Caribbean 360 is reporting that Barbados’ Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart has announced that Barbados will be moving towards a Republican form of government, saying:
“We cannot pat ourselves on the shoulder at having gone into independence; having de-colonised our politics; we cannot pat ourselves on the shoulders at having decolonized our jurisprudence by delinking from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and explain to anybody why we continue to have a monarchical system.
Therefore, the Right Excellent Errol Barrow decolonized the politics; Owen Arthur decolonized the jurisprudence and Freundel Stuart is going to complete the process.
We respect (the Queen) very highly as head of the Commonwealth and accept that she and all of her successors will continue to be at the apex of our political understanding. But in terms of Barbados’ constitutional status we have to move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future.
A republican form of government stipulates that those who run the people’s affairs should be chosen directly or indirectly by the people themselves. We already do that. We have been doing that continuously since 1951 when we got universal adult suffrage.
Under republicanism, the persons who administer your affairs can serve during your pleasure. In other words, they should only be able to stay as long as you want them to stay. That’s what the people of St Philip South said to me in 1999. So Barbados satisfies that requirement as well.
The third requirement Barbados has to satisfy is that there are people in the administrative structure of the Government, and in this case we are talking about the members of the judiciary, . . . continue to discharge the functions of their office as long as nobody can point a finger at them and accuse them of misconduct, and
that misconduct turns out to be true.
So once you are appointed or elected directly or indirectly, the people have a right to recall you.”
This move towards a Republican style of government will break a centuries old relationship with Britain and remove Queen Elizabeth as Barbados’ head of state.
While Prime Minister Stuart did not give an exact indication as to when the political move would actually occur, he did assert that it would be soon.
Read more at Caribbean 360.
This post was written by Reginald Calhoun, editorial assistant for the Burton Wire. He is a junior Mass Media Arts major at Clark Atlanta University. Follow him on Twitter @IRMarsean.