As the days count down to November 30, Barbados is taking further steps towards their transition from a Commonwealth, under the domain of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, to a Republic with a local president of head of state. This process has been ongoing for months now and final steps are being taken to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
Recently, on September 28, the country’s parliament unanimously gave the go-ahead to bring the Republic into force by the end of November. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley met with Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley to confirm that Dame Sandra Mason, current Governor-General of the island nation, will be the one to take the role as first President of Barbados.
Adopting a republican constitution has been a longstanding goal of Bajan politics, meaning that this process is not only smooth, but also resting on a matter of common consensus. Even though they will be formally separating fully from the UK, Foreign Minister Dr. Jerome Walcott has expressed his country’s great interest in continuing close bilateral ties with their former colonial suzerain. Walcott expressed an interest in continuing collaboration in the region, specifically in the sectors of climate change, energy, and security, a sentiment mirrored by British officials.
In addition to the constitutional and political changes alongside adopting a republic, Barbados is also undergoing a long series of smaller changes as well as society transitions. This includes things as simple as the renaming of the Royal Barbados Police Force to the Barbados Police Service, amongst a multitude of visible removals of references to royalty and monarchs as the country aims to fulfill the vision of Father of Independence Errol Walton Barrow.