Antigua and Barbuda Plan Referendum to Become a Republic

Photo: Reuters [via EuroNews]

The Facts

  • On Sat., the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic and removing King Charles III as its head of state sometime in the next three years.

  • This statement comes despite the fact that PM Browne had signed just minutes before a document confirming Charles III's new status as King, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Though King Charles III was voted in to be the next Commonwealth's ceremonial head of state in 2018, he will face hard times to hold the association together now that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. Republican movements are likely to benefit from his low popularity and the group, which has little practical value, could collapse as it has been sustained so far by personal loyalty to the queen.

Pro-establishment narrative

While the Commonwealth countries are free to choose their own political system, they are unlikely to find one that works better than a constitutional, limited monarchy. Even if every realm decided to break away from the British monarchy, this wouldn't affect the Commonwealth as most of its countries are republics. King Charles III is the right leader to fight for Queen Elizabeth II's legacy and protect this very important association of free countries.

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