Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda has said he will hold a referendum to decide the republic status of the country within three years.
PM Gaston Browne made the statement after he signed a document that confirmed Charles III as the new King.
Stating that the Caribbean country will retain a British monarch, for now, PM Browne added, “This is not an act of hostility or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation,”
When asked the time frame to complete the referendum process, Browne said, “I’d say probably within the next three years.”
It is pertinent to note that despite being a sovereign nation with a democratic setup, Antigua and Barbuda’s head of state remains the Queen or King of the UK. Succinctly put, the former British colony is not a republic but a constitutional monarchy.
Apart from Antigua and Barbuda, countries like Australia, and Canada are still constitutional monarchies. Earlier in the day, both countries proclaimed Charles III as their King as well.
However, holding a referendum is not a guarantee that the country will automatically become a republic; the example of Australia is a case in point.
As reported by WION, there have been a few attempts to make Australia a republic but so far, none of them have been successful. A referendum in 1999 was narrowly defeated as 55 per cent of Australians voted to maintain the status quo.
Current Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also promised to do the same but the challenge is much harder than it looks. However, in the wake of the Queen’s death, Albanese has made it clear that he will not hold a republic referendum during his first term out of ‘deep respect’ for Queen.
(With inputs from agencies)
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