Antigua and Barbuda intends to hold a referendum on becoming a republic within the next three years, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda told British media on Saturday, in a move that could see King Charles III removed as head of state.
Prime Minister Gaston Brown told ITV News shortly after a local ceremony that Charles III was confirmed king of the country following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The small Caribbean island nation, which gained independence from Britain in 1981, is one of 14 Commonwealth member states that share the King of the United Kingdom as their head of state.
Brown said the transition to a republic was “a final step to complete the circle of independence to ensure that we are a truly sovereign nation”, but stressed that the referendum was “not a hostile act” and would not involve the retirement of Commonwealth membership.
The Prime Minister of Antigua did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Reuters was unable to independently verify the proposal.
The nation’s population is less than 100,000, according to official data.
Prime Minister Brown’s pledge comes amid a growing Republican rush across the Caribbean, with Barbados voting to remove the British monarchy last year, and Jamaica’s ruling party indicating it may follow.
However, Brown – who will be re-elected next year – said he was not responding to widespread pressure from Antigua’s residents to hold a vote.
“I think most people haven’t even bothered to think about it,” he told ITV.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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