Antigua and Barbuda could be the next Caribbean country to ditch the Queen as head of state as political analysts and politicians start debating the process in earnest.
Following the historic scenes in Barbados last week, it’s become a catalyst for constitution experts in Antigua and Barbuda. Barbados became the world’s newest republic by cutting ties with the British monarchy’s 396-year reign over the island.
But Antigua’s leading political and social commentator Carlon Knight stated on TV the twin-island nation should focus on structural issues before making the leap to become a republic.
“We tend to get caught up a lot in gesture politics because the more complex issues of nation building that really speak to structural issues that affect the poor and disenfranchised are far more difficult to do,” Knight said. “After we fete and dance and have all this hoorah about becoming a republic, the lives of people remain the same.”
However, lawyer Beverly Benjamin George, who was another contributor to the show, said that Antigua and Barbuda becoming a republic is long overdue. Those in the education sector are also pushing for the change.
Dr George Braithwaite who is a psychology lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, said breaking away from the colonial past is the only way Antigua and Barbuda can be truly free.