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Barbados removes Queen Elizabeth as head of state, elects Sandra Mason as first-ever president

Recall that, the current Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley who won the 2018 election with a landslide victory based mainly on a promise to break the British monarchy earlier hinted of the possible removal of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state, stating that, “the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”

The prime minister added that, “this is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence.”

This decision has finally been made as the former British colony has elected Sandra Mason, a former governor-general as its first President, replacing Queen Elizabeth as the Caribbean country’s head of state. The newly elected President will be sworn in during the 55th independence Anniversary of the Caribbean Island on the 30th of November.

Reacting to the historic milestone, Prime Minister Mia Mottley who earlier said “the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state,” told reporters that, “we have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian, does not pretend to be anything else (and) reflects the values of who we are.”

For many years now, the independence of the Island of Barbados, an eastern Caribbean country with estimated population of about 280,000 people has been a subject for discussion. On paper, the country attained independence from the British in 1966; however, that independence was just a sham as the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth remained its constitutional Monarch till date.

As duly stated in our earlier report on this development, there were series of conversations regarding the necessity for a true independence of the Island. This ranged from the likes of Errol Barrow, Barbados’s first prime minister who warned that the country must push for true independence and should not “loiter on colonial premises.” Freundel Stuart, another Prime minister equally advocated for a “move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future”.

Apart from the political conversation on the country’s status, some actions were taken including a constitutional review in 1998 which fully established the need for a change in the governing structure from a monarchical system to a republican state, emulating the likes of other Caribbean countries such as Guyana, Trinidad Tobago and Dominica.

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