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Apr 29, 2022

Belize: Monarchy, Justice and a Future Republic?

Dr. Dylan Vernon

The discussion on whether Belize can or will become a republic took center stage this morning during a forum hosted by the University of Belize. Presenters included Doctor Dylan Vernon, Dominique Noralez and Dino Gutierrez. Dubbed the State of Belize in the World: Monarchy, Justice and a Future Republic, the conversation comes on the heels of Barbados’s transition to a modern republic.   The shift, according to Doctor Vernon, would require Belize adopting one of three systems, including having a president.


Dr. Dylan Vernon, Presenter

“A modern republic is simply a form of statehood in which the people, we the people and our representatives who are elected hold supreme power and in which there is no monarch as head of state.  In short, the only thing that keeps us from being a republic today is that our constitution says that the executive authority of Belize is vested in Her Majesty which is exercised on her behalf by the governor general.  That’s the only thing that makes us not a republic.  Just by cutting these constitutional ties to the British monarchy and replacing our governor general with a Belizean, let me put this another way, by having a Belizean head of state, as opposed to Her Majesty would make Belize a republic.  And this would be along with seventy-five percent of all the independent states of the world that are all republics, accepting that in our case today, being a republic is merely the absence of monarchy and that republics can have various forms of government.  The question I think that is more relevant is, when we do become a republic, what kind of government system do we want for that republic?  In simple terms, I think we would have three broad choices.  First, we could choose to become a basic parliamentary republic, that is simply moving from a parliamentary democracy which we are now and becoming a parliamentary republic.  This means that apart from replacing the Queen as head of state with a Belizean, the Westminster parliamentary model of governance that we now have would remain basically the same and instead of having a governor general, we would have a president with the same largely ceremonial functions.”

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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