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Residents of the twin islands forsee divorce as Cayman’s Parliament passes vote of no confidence in the Queen as prime minister
Barbados celebrates the birth of a republic and bid farewell to the Queen
Crowds filled the streets of Barbados and other islands on Monday to celebrate the birth of a republic.
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Opposition politicians in Britain’s last colonial possession staged a symbolic vote of no confidence in the British Monarch, and a symbolic funeral procession through the capital to mark the return of the island of island.
Rival party leaders declared their intention to abolish the Monarchy after the interim prime minister, Mia Mottley, succeeded in passing a no confidence motion.
The Queen is a figurehead of the United Kingdom and is styled as head of state. Many Barbadians see the crown as anachronistic and want the island to have its own head of state and independence.
People take part in a fun-run to celebrate the ‘day of action’ in the Caribbean and the Republic of Barbados. Photograph: Alvin Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
Mottley said: “The Barbados citizens deserve and demand the freedom to decide who is their head of state.”
Barbados became independent from Britain in 1966 after 10 years of independence during which it was granted dominion status by the then Queen Elizabeth, and later sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the international criminal court.
The Caribbean nation of about 850,000 people now controls its own judicial system, government and foreign policy.
Groups of people gather to celebrate the ‘day of action’ in the Caribbean and the Republic of Barbados. Photograph: Alvin Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
Jermaine Lee, the director of Foreign Affairs, was to go on national television on Monday night to confirm that a decision on the independence of the Crown will be made next year.
Mottley, the leader of the Barbados Labour party, has said she plans to take the decision to the Barbados people, and all other political parties in parliament were in favour of a referendum.
Neil Mitchell, a former prime minister and leader of the United Democratic Labour party, said it was time for a simple plebiscite on the future.
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“The people of Barbados should have their say next May. I’m ready to do it,” he said.
Barbados law provides for a referendum but lawmakers must first pass a constitutional amendment in parliament.
The others in support of independence included the Citizens Action Movement and All the Members of the House of Representatives.
The caretaker Labour government, which took office in July after the previous Labour government lost its majority in elections, said it would have to refer the matter to parliament.
A funeral procession for the Queen, who is in hospital, followed the no confidence vote to a crematorium for a memorial service.