On Monday, Barbados will become the first country in nearly three decades to leave the Commonwealth of Nations, in line with Parliament’s September decision to introduce a constitutional amendment that repeals the 1966 rule, when the Caribbean country ceased to be a British colony, but maintained dependence on the Crown.
After being chosen by Parliament on October 22, 2021, this Monday the Governor General of Barbados, Sandra Mason, will be sworn in as the first President of the Caribbean country. Mason He launched a campaign to turn Barbados into a republic in 2020, insisting that “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state”. “The time has come to put our colonial past completely behind us,” said the senior official at the time.
Prince Charles of Wales, who is visiting Frequently dubbed ‘Little England’ for polo, the island will join the celebrations, which will take place this Monday in the capital, Bridgetown. The heir to the throne is expected to deliver a speech at the official ceremony, during which he will reaffirm the bonds of friendship between the UK and Barbados.
Although the process of transitioning to a republic enjoys broad support on the island, the opposition criticized the government’s refusal to present the decision to voters in a national referendum. Guy Hewitt, who served as the island’s high commissioner in London between 2014 and 2018, called the declaration of independence a diversionary tactic. “The Republican debate serves to distract from the economic reality of COVID-19, which has crippled Barbados’ tourism-based economy,” he said.
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