Belize has signaled its intention to remove Queen Elizabeth II as the Caribbean nation’s Head of State and officially become a republic. The announcement comes in the wake of other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states also expressing their desire to end their colonial ties to the British monarchy.
According to Loop Jamaica, the current Belizean government recently announced that a People’s Constitutional Commission will oversee consultations with regard to the Caribbean nation attaining the status of a republic. The commission, which was recently established, is under the Constitutional and Political Reform Ministry.
In an address to legislators in parliament on March 24, Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform Minister Henry Charles Usher said a Good Governance Unit has also been set up, and it will function as the commission’s secretariat.
“A major part of the portfolio is reform. I am pleased to announce to the House and the Belizean people that a Good Governance unit has been established in the Ministry. This unit will be the focal point for all governance issues, including UNCAC (United Nations Convention against Corruption), which is currently in its second round for peer review,” Usher said at the time.
Usher added that the Good Governance Unit will also conduct a detailed review of the Caribbean nation’s laws. This will include how the country is governed.
“Madam Speaker, the decolonization process is enveloping the Caribbean region. Perhaps it is time for Belize to take the next step in truly owning our independence. But, it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on,” Usher said.
The decolonization announcement by the Caribbean nation comes after Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State and became a republic in November last year. Other Caribbean nations including Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname also have a republican constitution.
During Prince William and his wife’s visit to Jamaica last month, Prime Minister Andrew Holness informed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of the Caribbean nation’s intention to end its colonial ties to the British monarchy.
Holness said Jamaica aims to achieve “its true ambitions as an independent, developed, and prosperous country.”