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Barbados: The newest Republic

Date: 02 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The island-country of Barbados has become the newest republic after Queen Elizabeth II was removed as the head of the state.

 

Background

The Caribbean nation became a republic after nearly 400 years of British rule. The event was attended by Prince Charles.

 

Details

Dame Sandra Prunella Mason will take over as the first President of the country. She was elected as the head of state last month.

 

Rise of Mason

  • Mason was the governor-general of the island since 2018. She has been a teacher and also worked in bank before joining judicial service.

  • Mason has served in various positions such as member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) and also the first female president of the Tribunal.

 

History of Barbados

  • Barbados has been an English colony since the arrival of first British ship in 1625. It was set up as a slave-colony of the British Empire.

  • The country gained independence in 1966 but remained under the rule of British crown. It will continue to be one of the 54 Commonwealth nations.

 

Expected changes

  • The national anthem, national flag, national pledge, coat of arms etc will remain the same.  However, the use of terms “royal” and “crown” would be dropped from all official references.

  • In future, the crown lands would become state lands. The Royal Barbados Police Force will become Barbados Police Force.

 

Transition to republic system

  • Barbados has been contemplating becoming a republic since many decades. A commission known as Cox Commission was set up to study feasibility in 1979.

  • Ending monarchy and becoming a republic was recommended by a constitutional committee in 1998.

  • Finally, the government decided to become a republic when Mason was elected as the President and first December was the selected date for transition.

 

Republic system

It is a form of democratic governance in which the head of the state is elected and not nominated or monarch.