Jamaica's new prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, has pledged to make the nation a republic, thereby severing ties to Great Britain and the English monarchy.
The former British colony gained its independence in 1962, but Jamaica is still part of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II is still the official head of state. Jamaica wouldn't have to leave the commonwealth to drop the Queen, but the new prime minister indicated that the country's connections to England should be minimized, Simpson-Miller said after taking her oath of office on Friday.
After winning a landslide election last week, she will begin her second-run as Prime Minister. She was also in office from March 2006 until September 2007.
I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady, Simpson-Miller told the 10,000-person audience at the governor-general's residence.
But I think time come, she added, speaking in the Jamaican patois.
Additionally, Jamaica still has its Privy Council based in London, which Simpson-Miller would replace with Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad. This shift in the judicial location could affect the way that criminals in Jamaica are penalized in the future. The London-based council has blocked Jamaica from carrying out executions even though Jamaica's homicide rates are exorbitantly high, according to The Guardian.
While capital punishment is legal in Jamaica, it is rarely allowed by the judicial body, but with the Caribbean court of justice having the final legal say in such matters that could change.
The Prime Minister's republican statements could become embarrassing for the monarchy, which just announced that Prince Harry will be visiting the island in March. Harry is going to the island for his state visit as a representative of Queen for her Diamond Jubilee -- the celebration marking her 60th year on the throne.
The BBC's Diplomatic and royal correspondent, Peter Hunt, pointed out on Friday that Simpson-Miller would not be the first Jamaican prime minister to attempt republicanism. PJ Patterson promised cut away from the monarchy by 2007.
To convert Jamaica into a republic, Simpson Miller will have to win a parliamentary vote to change the constitution and then put it to a popular referendum.
It's not impossible -- Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago both dropped the Queen as their heads of state -- and Simpson-Miller probably has the popularity in her home country to pass all the necessary votes.
But, some would argue that there are more pressing matters to deal with, such as the rising poverty and unemployment rates, falling standards of living and the issue of organized crime.
We will seek to make this country one of brothers and sisters, not of rivals and victims, she said.