Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados will be moving towards a republican form of government “in the very near future” ending its centuries of old relationship with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state.
“We cannot pat ourselves on the shoulder at having gone into independence; having de-colonized out 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 monarchial system.”
Therefore, the Right Excellency Errol Barrow decolonized the politics: Owen Arthur decolonized the jurisprudence and Freundel Stuart is going to complete the process,” Stuart told supporters of the ruling Democratic Labor Party last week.
While he gave no indication as to how soon the political move would be made, Prime Minister Stuart nonetheless indicated it would be done soon.
“We respect (the Queen) very highly as head of the Commonwealth and accept that she and all 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,” Prime Minister Stuart said, noting that the island is already functioning as a republic.
“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 members of the judiciary…. to 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,” he said.
Should Barbados adopt a republican form of government it will join Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago as those CARICOM countries with a president as the head of state.