“Add Head of State to amendments”

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In a letter published in the Daily Nation of May 29, 2018, Mrs Beverley Walrond, QC drew attention to the disturbing fact that our ministers of Government are still required to swear allegiance to our absent Head of State Queen Elizabeth II, and not to Barbados and its people.

Mrs Walrond further stated that the present “oath has outlived its ability to inspire as it excludes mention of Barbadians”. Accordingly, she proposes that all our Government ministers should instead take an oath “to serve the people and country of Barbados”.

I am in total agreement with the views expressed by Mrs Walrond and, in particular, her suggestion that we should seek to have changed the oaths to be taken by our Government ministers (including the Prime Minister) so that they will swear allegiance to Barbados and its people.

Since it would be necessary to amend the Constitution in order to give effect to this suggestion, I wish to recommend to the Government that the opportunity should be taken to introduce an additional amendment to the Constitution which would provide that our Head of State must be a citizen of Barbados who will reside among us in Barbados.

A Head of State of Barbados should be able “to reflect and symbolize the culture and ethos of Barbados and its people . . . . A non-Barbadian Head of State, residing outside Barbados, is not capable of meeting those criteria”.

It is my fervent hope that notwithstanding the many challenges facing our new Government, the Prime Minister and her Cabinet will give early and sympathetic consideration to these proposed Constitutional amendments.

– Ian Archer