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Mar 28, 2022

GOB & Monarchy (SOT)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Katherine, have completed their tour of the Caribbean in celebration of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second. But in the wake of their tours of Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas—and amid protests in Belize and Jamaica— is the question of whether our respective countries want to carry on the existing relationship with Great Britain or not. Prince William, in his address before leaving Jamaica, said that if Caribbean countries want to move away from the Monarchial system of governance, it is a decision that Buckingham Palace would support. Today News Five asked Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca, where Belize is with that discussion and this was how he responded.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education & Culture

“As you know, the Queen remains the Head of State of our country. And until that changes, we have to treat them accordingly. But long before their visit, we have been engaged in a very rigorous discussion about Constitutional Reform and if you will recall, I think in last years’ Independence Day address, the Prime Minister talked about the establishment of a Constitutional Commission or a Constitutional Assembly. What we have agreed to do is establish a People’s Constitution Committee (P.C.C.) that will have broad representation from all of our stakeholders, social partners, the churches, the N.G.O. community, the political parties and have that body engaged in widespread consultations with the Belizean people over a twelve-month period or so and for us to look very closely at these very critical issues and hopefully at the end of that process, we can come out very clearly with specific recommendations from that Committee about what we want to do in terms of the Constitution of Belize, in terms of how we move forward and how we are governed as a country. So it has to be a consultative process; it has to be a comprehensive process; it has to be people-driven; but certainly, as a government, we are absolutely open to having that discussion. We believe that it is time for progressive change, certainly from my seat where I sit as Minister of Education and Culture. I believe it is time for us to move beyond the Monarchy, but that is a decision that will have to be taken by the people.”


Marion Ali

“In a referendum?”


Francis Fonseca

“Well I think that has to be determined. Under our Constitution there’s not a requirement for a referendum as there is in some other territories. As you know, Barbados did it without a referendum. So that is one of the issues that will have to be determined during this consultation process.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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