Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, tabled a single-item referendum on Monday, asking citizens of the Caribbean nation if they want Queen Elizabeth II removed as Head of State and replaced with a non-executive, home-grown president.
According to CMC, Gonsalves informed the country’s Parliament that he will only pursue the referendum if the opposition agrees.
“I’ll tell you something. If the opposition agrees today, I am willing to put one question to the people before the end of the year or early next year: to have a home-grown president in the manner I’ve just described, a non-executive president, and as was laid out in the proposed constitution, and let us go with that one single issue to the people to complete the national democratic task,” Gonsalves said.
A majority of Vincentians voted “no” in a 2009 referendum on revising the Caribbean country’s constitution. “I agree that we are now 12 years away from the referendum,” Gonsalves said.
If the referendum receives bipartisan support, the Prime Minister will also form a committee to oversee a national honors program. Gonsalves also proposed establishing a body “to carry out a process of decolonization in names” at the same time.
“We change the name of Victoria Park, Higginson Street, and other streets; Murrays Road, because it is a colonial administrator.” And we do it, especially at this time of renewed hope…”
Gonsalves also hinted that the Caribbean nation will welcome the recommendation to honor George Agusutus McIntosh, Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, Robert Milton Cato, and JP Eustace as national heroes.
Barbados deposed Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State in November of last year in order to achieve Republican status. The Caribbean country currently has a president who was born in the country.
Moreover, during Prince William and his wife’s March visit to Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness informed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of the Caribbean country’s intention to end its colonial ties with the British monarchy.
Jamaica, according to Holness, aspires to achieve “its true ambitions as an independent, developed, and prosperous country.”
Face2Face Africa reported that in April, Belize signaled its intention to depose Queen Elizabeth II as the Caribbean nation’s Head of State and formally become a republic.