Caribbean Nation May Ditch King Charles

Leader of Antigua and Barbuda plans a referendum within 3 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2022 9:17 AM CDT
Caribbean Nation May Ditch King Charles
A view of Antigua and Barbuda.   (Getty / SeanPavonePhoto)

The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda wants the new King Charles to know it's nothing personal, but it may want out of the monarchy. In the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he plans to hold a referendum within three years on whether his nation should become a republic, reports CNN. While the former British colony gained independence in 1981, it still recognizes the British monarch as head of state—as is the case in Canada and Australia.

"It does not represent any form of disrespect to the monarch," Browne tells ITV of his planned referendum. "This is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy." Instead, Browne sees it as "a final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation." Browne is up for re-election next year, and he says he will initiate the referendum should he win as expected.

A total of 14 independent countries still recognize the British monarch as head of state, and others are considering making a similar move, notes the BBC. In fact, Barbados did so last year. However, one notable country has just ruled out the possibility for the near future. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tells Sky News that, out of deference to the late queen, no such referendum will be held during his first term, meaning at least for four years. (The royal bees have been informed of the queen's passing.)

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