Barbados: World’s Newest Republic

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    • Recently, Barbados has officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become the world’s newest republic.
      • Before Barbados, the last nation to remove the Queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992.
      • Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, who was selected to become the first president of Barbados earlier, took over as the President of the country. 

    Background 

    • Barbados was one of England’s first slave colonies. English settlers first occupied the island in 1627 and, under British control, it became a sugar plantation economy using enslaved people brought in from Africa.
    • Slavery was abolished in Barbados in 1834 and the country became fully independent in 1966.
    • Preparation of  Barbados to become a Republic 
    • 1979: The Cox Commission to attest to the feasibility of the republican system in Barbados was set up. 
      • The commission, however, had concluded that the public wished to remain under the system of constitutional monarchy.
    • 1998: A constitutional committee had recommended that the country adopt the republican status and end the monarchy. 
    • 2003: Barbados changed its final court of appeal from the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to the Caribbean Court of Justice.
    • 2016: On the 50th independence day in 2016, Freundel Stuart, the then prime minister of Barbados, had said that it was time to move from “a monarchical system to a republican form of government”.

    Expected Changes 

    • There are no plans to change the flags, coat of arms, national pledge or national anthem. 
    • However, the terms “royal” and “crown” would be dropped from all official references. 
      • Hence, Royal Barbados Police Force will become Barbados Police Force and crown lands would become state lands.
    • The country would continue to celebrate Independence Day on November 30, but not just in remembrance of removing Queen Elizabeth II as the head but also in the memory of the country’s first president Errol Walton Barrow.

    Barbados

    • It is a country in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, is situated about 100 miles east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 
    • The geographic position of Barbados has profoundly influenced the island’s history and culture and aspects of its economic life.
    • The culture of Barbados is probably more British than that of any other Caribbean island because of its long association with Britain.

     Image Courtesy: Britannica

    Source: IE