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May 9, 2023

Monarchy Vs Republic – Belizeans Will Determine

Cesar Ross

A recent statement by Prime Minister John Briceño drew international attention over the weekend when he said that Belize may very well be the next country to remove itself from the monarchy and become a republic.  The statement was made during an interview with the Guardian, a daily British publication. P.M. Briceño was asked if Belize would be next to leave the Commonwealth realm. His response was “I think the change is quite high. It’s quite likely.” Last year the Briceño Administration passed a bill establishing a constitutional commission consisting of twenty-three representatives to look at the reformation of the Belize Constitution, including the possibility of Belize becoming a republic. Today, News Five sat down with the secretariat for the Peoples’ Constitutional Commission, headed by Cesar Ross. He explains that the question of monarchy versus republic is a matter that will be polled during the consultation process and this would likely be taken to referendum at the end of the process.


Cesar Ross, Director, Good Governance Unit

“Whether it is amending parts of it or whether it is rewriting the whole thing, find out what the people want. Do they want to stay with the monarchy? Do they want to create a republic? Everybody has their own ideas and I recall you mentioning the Prime Minister has and yes, the Prime Minister talks on his own position, the minister has his own ideas and everybody. But at the end of the day, the mandate was consult with the Belizean public and then come up with what are the recommendations. And then if the recommendations are of a very significant nature, then let’s put it together and put it to referendum to the people so that they have the final say.”


Duane Moody

“So it will go to the referendum; whatever comes up in this process?”


Cesar Ross

“…as long as it is something very significant. If the public decide you know we like the constitution as it is; we just want tweak this, then that may not need to go because the constitution says a super majority can amend and the government does have a super majority as such. But I think the thing that I like is the administration is saying no, if they really want major changes then let’s put it to referendum to the people.  We are developing a questionnaire, we are developing a survey and we are partnering up with possibly like S.I.B. to help do a very door-to-door national survey to find out what are the people’s perspective of it. And we know that a lot of people don’t understand our constitution. Some of the fears, for instances, I’ve heard people say we can’t lef because Guatemala wah invade we if we left the monarchy or the dollar wah collapse or devalue. So that type of information, there needs to be some clarity to find out where are we with those types of things there. And leaving the monarchy doesn’t mean leaving the Commonwealth, for instance. Of the fifty-four countries that are a part of the Commonwealth, there are only about fourteen, including us, that still has the monarchy.”

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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