The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, said that a referendum could be held in the country, during which citizens must answer a single question: do they want Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to remain head of state or to have a president elected from among the citizens Saint Vincent and the Grenadines? This is reported by the online edition Travel Noire. Prime Minister Gonçalves noted that he is ready to hold such a referendum before the end of this year or early 2023, provided that it is supported by both houses of the country’s parliament.
A referendum on a similar issue was already held in this Caribbean state in 2009. Then the majority of citizens – 56% – were against the changes. And Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to this day remains a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations, headed by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. However, as Prime Minister Goncalves noted, more than 12 years have passed since then, and the opinion of citizens could well have changed. According to him, if this time the citizens decide that Queen Elizabeth II should not be their head of state, then a special committee will be created, which, among other things, will deal with the decolonization of street names and various places. Queen Victoria Park and Higginson Street, for example, should be named after the national heroes of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the prime minister said.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is not the first state from the Commonwealth of Nations to think about abandoning the monarchy. At the end of November 2021, Barbados declared itself a republic, and Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be its head. At the same time, Barbados remained part of the Commonwealth. Practically at the same time, the British Virgin Islands, which are an overseas territory of Great Britain, resumed the discussion on independence and holding a corresponding referendum.