SVG PM proposes referendum on removing Queen as Head of State

PRIME MINISTER RALPH GONSALVES addressing the Vincentian Students Association at the Cave Hill Campus on Thursday night.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Monday proposed a single-item referendum asking the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines to decide whether or not to replace Britain’s Queen Elizabeth with a non-executive, home-grown president as head of state.

But Gonsalves told Parliament that he would only pursue the referendum if there is bipartisan support.

“I will tell you this. I am prepared, if the opposition agrees today, before the end of the year or early next year to put one question in a referendum: to have a home-grown president in the manner in which I’ve just described, a non-executive president, and as was laid out in the proposed constitution, and let us go with that one single issue to the people to complete the national democratic task,” Gonsalves said.

In 2009, Vincentians overwhelmingly rejected the proposed revised constitution with 29,019 “no” votes and 22,493 “yes” votes.

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