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"Sandra Mason has been working on behalf of Barbadians for over 30 years, so we are convinced that she will play a good role as president": Prime Minister Mottley.
On Monday night, Governor Sandra Mason will be declared as the first Barbadian president and formally eliminate the figure of "British head of state" for her country, which has remained even though Barbadians gained their independence in 1966.
"We had to change this reality to show that we have the confidence in ourselves to be fully responsible for who we are and what we do," she added, stressing that the inhabitants will no longer swear allegiance to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II but to the State of Barbados and the continuity of its institutions.
The change to a parliamentary republic would not affect the identity of the Island, whose Independence Day will remain to be Nov. 30, and its national colors will remain aquamarine blue, gold, and black.
"The time has come to put our colonial past behind us,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley stated but stressed that Barbados will remain part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which brings together 54 States that share historical ties with the United Kingdom.
Jamaican PM Andrew Holness has announced that Jamaica's Constitution - much of which is based on British law - will undergo a major review next year. This comes as Barbados is set to remove the Queen as its head of state in a matter of hours. pic.twitter.com/15BaEtlSZG
“There is no reason to encourage hatred to the British crown since we have a common historical-cultural past,” she recalled, adding that other former colonies made the same decision: Guyana in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Dominica in 1978.
The heir to the British throne Prince Charles and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 15 member countries' presidents will attend the swearing-in ceremony, which will last until tomorrow.
"Mason has been working on behalf of the Barbadian people for over 30 years. Before being elected governor in 2017, she served as an Appeal Court judge and became the first woman to be Barbadian ambassador to Venezuela in 1992. Therefore, we are convinced that she will play an excellent role as president,” Mottley said.