Jamaican Prime Minister confirms plans to become a republic
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness confirms plans to become a republic and admits country wanted to cut ties with Britain as soon as Queen died last year – but insists William and Kate are always welcome
- Holness said there has always been ‘strong love and respect’ for the late Queen
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has confirmed his plans to become a republic and admits the country wanted to ditch the monarchy after the Queen died last year.
Mr Holness, 50, still praised Prince William and Princess Kate, who he said were ‘always welcome’ to visit the Caribbean island.
Speaking while on a trip to London, Mr Holness said he thought there has always been a ‘strong love and respect’ for the late Queen and the ‘appropriate time to [separate] would have been on a transition’.
‘The truth is the recent polls have shown there is a tendency towards Jamaica becoming a republic. So over time the position has evolved,’ he told the Daily Express.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (pictured) has confirmed his plans to become a republic and admits the country wanted to ditch the monarchy after the Queen died last year
Mr Holness praised Prince William and Princess Kate, who he said were ‘always welcome’ to visit the Caribbean island. Pictured during a visit to Trench Town Culture Yard Museum where Bob Marley used to live
Mr Holness said he thought there has always been a ‘strong love and respect’ for the late Queen and the ‘appropriate time to [separate] would have been on a transition’
The change in the country’s constitution was hoped to have been completed by June this year but the government faced delays amid discussions over what position would represent the new head of state.
‘We would have wanted to be able to do this within a year but the process is not a linear one. So we are on the journey of public education.’
He explained then a legislation must be passed in Parliament before a referendum is sat.
It is not yet confirmed when Jamaica will become a republic.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the country in March last year and William was both praised and criticised for speaking out against Britain’s historic role in the slave trade.
But despite his condemnation of the ‘abhorrent’ trade in humans, abolished after 200 years by Britain in 1807, some Jamaicans do not believe he went far enough.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness presents the Duke of Cambridge with a bottle of Appleton Estate Ruby during a meeting at his office in Kingston, where the PM almost immediately raised his wish to make Jamaica a republic
The second in line to the throne told a dinner in Kingston: ‘I strongly agree with my father, The Prince of Wales, who said in Barbados last year that the appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history. I want to express my profound sorrow. Slavery was abhorrent. And it should never have happened. ‘
The Jamaican government and their supporters are said to be ‘incredibly disappointed’ the Duke of Cambridge did not say ‘the word sorry’, an insider on the Queen’s fourth largest realm has claimed. Omar Ryan, Centre for Reparation Research at the University of West Indies, also said William should have gone further in the speech: ‘That is a statement of regret – but he is not admitting their role in the enslavement of African and Caribbean people’.
Mr Holness campaigned on the promise of making Jamaica a republic ahead of his 2016 PM win and 2020 re-election. Last year he suggested African and Caribbean nations should unite to ‘demand reparations from colonial powers for the damage caused to our people’.
At 49, he is the country’s youngest leader to date and vowed to turn Jamaica from a constitutional monarchy into a Republic during his 2020 election campaign.
He said his government would introduce a bill to replace the Queen with ‘a non-executive president as head of state.’ A timeline for a referendum, required by law to make the change, has not yet been given. But a minister close to him hinted a vote and then separation from the British throne could be completed by the end of 2024.
Source: Read Full Article