MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 17th January, 2020) A referendum to abolish the monarchical rule of Queen Elizabeth II could still be possible in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines although it is not a high priority for the government, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told Sputnik.
Gonsalves was instrumental in calling for a 2009 referendum on the country’s recognition of Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. Only 43 percent of voters supported measures to reject the queen’s rule, falling short of the two-thirds majority required.
“It could well be again on the table. Not immediately. In our constitutional reform it’s not a fundamental issue. There are a number of very important issues, that’s the question of a repatriation of our constitution, completely. It’s on a checklist, but it’s not the matter which has the highest priority,” Gonsalves remarked.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister ruled out the possibility of a second referendum after a visit by Prince Charles, the UK daily Evening Standard reported. However, Gonsalves once again reiterated that he is not a monarchist, and continues to support republican rule.
“The queen [Elizabeth II] is nominally the head of state but she doesn’t have any real executive power… I respect Her Majesty, I respect the members of the royal family, but I’m not a monarchist,” the prime minister remarked.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, a political association which unites member states, almost all of which were former UK colonial territories. Queen Elizabeth II serves as Head of the Commonwealth, and is head of state in 16 Commonwealth nations.