The newly elected Prime Minister of Jamaica wants to break her country’s links with the British monarchy in the same year that it plans to celebrate fifty years of independence from the U.K.
Portia Simpson-Miller, 66, who just won an impressive victory in an election, said during her inaugural address that she wants to establish Jamaica as a republic, which would entail removing Queen Elizabeth as the head of state.
I love the Queen, she is a beautiful lady, and apart from being a beautiful lady she is a wise lady and a wonderful lady, Simpson Miller said after swearing the oath of office.
But I think time come. As we celebrate our achievements as an independent nation, we now need to complete the circle of independence. In this regard we will initiate the process of our detachment from the Monarchy, from the Monarchy, to become a republic with our own indigenous president as head of state.”
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace in London said in a statement that the issue of the Jamaican head of state was entirely a matter for the Jamaican government and people.
The Queen is currently Jamaica’s head of state – she is represented by governor general, Sir Patrick Allen
In addition, Simpson-Miller wants to separate Jamaican judicial processes from Britain by using the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as the highest court of appeal, instead of Britain's Privy Council. This measure, which would likely require a referendum, could conceivably permit Jamaica to execute convicted prisoners.
However, it is unclear how popular the move to break ties with the UK is among the Jamaican public.
Of course, the subject of the British crown was not the main subject of Simpson-Miller’s inaugural address – she focused principally on ways to revive the Jamaican economy and fight crime.