Jamaica Begins Talks on Severing Ties with British Monarchy

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 16, 2012

Above: Buckingham Palace

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica has begun talks concerning the country’s transition into a republic, according to Information Minister Sandrea Falconer.

The Justice Ministry and the Attorney General’s department are leading the talks, spearheaded by a Ministerial Committee, which will make recommendations to cabinet before talks begin with the opposition.

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller signaled in her inauguration speech that her government would seek to withdraw from the Crown and become a republic.

Last month, Foreign Minister Sen. AJ Nicholson told Caribbean Journal that becoming a republic with a president as head of state could be important as the country celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence.

“If we have our own indigenous head of state, that is something that we can galvanize our forces around in this 50th year of our independence,” he told Caribbean Journal at the UK-Caribbean Forum in Grenada. “Since we have traveled a certain route in the past 50 years, we want to try something new.”

The same Ministerial Committee is also leading discussions on withdrawing from the UK Privy Council and having the Caribbean Court of Justice become the country’s highest court of appeal.

Falconer said that it had been advised to keep the matters separate, however.

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