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‘We’ll be a republic - eventually’

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs and Public Service Fred Mitchell. Photo: Racardo Thomas/Tribune Staff

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell says he is still committed to seeing The Bahamas become a republic.

“As many of you may know, I too am committed to a republic, in making The Bahamas a republic,” he said yesterday, as Barbados made the transition to a republic this week, parting with the Queen of England as its head of state.

 “It is my life’s work toward deepening our democracy, but try as I might over my lifetime I have been unable to fire up the succeeding generations on this issue. Perhaps they have more important things to do.”

 Mr Mitchell told The Tribune he believes The Bahamas will eventually become a republic.

 “I suspect that there will be a cascading effect since Barbados -  arguably the most conservative of CARICOM societies - has done so,” he said. “The whole question of whether or not a republic is impatient of debate, but the political reality is that unless the younger generation buys into it, it will go nowhere.”

 Mr Mitchell said he congratulated St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves “for an excellent letter on the subject to (Barbados Prime Minister) Mia Mottley”.

 Among other things, Mr Gonsalves wrote that one of the saddest days of his political life was when residents of his country rejected constitutional reforms that would have replaced the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court and removed the British monarch as the Head of State, replacing her with a “home-grown, non-executive president”.

 Mr Mitchell said: “The referendum which it requires for us as it did for him will often fall victim to opportunistic politics…just to stick the incumbent government in the eye, just as the last one on gender equality failed on the altar of dishonest political opportunism. So, I was heartened this morning when one of our younger PLP politicians said he would take up the battle. I will support him from the back to build consensus on this matter.

 “(Transitioning to a republic) is not the official policy of the government, but in a democracy we must always seek to build a consensus for change and where I am now positioned both in time and space, I do not have the luxury of dithering.”

Comments

Dawes 7 months ago

It will fail because you made referendums political all those years ago. Now all future ones will be, even when many of these things should have passed the referendum. Now enjoy the fruits of what you helped sow.

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joeblow 7 months ago

... the best way to deepen our democracy is to not allow people like Mitchell to make a career in politics. No Bahamian should vote for any person who has been in politics for 10 years or more, ever. Politics should be a public service, not a career!

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moncurcool 7 months ago

Mitchell has serious amnesia. He forgot that it was his party that made the referendum into a political matter rather than whats best for the country.

However, what I want to know is how being a republic deepens democracy? All we will do is trade one master for another, but it does not deepen democracy.

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DillyTree 7 months ago

Fred Mitchell is way past his "sell by" date. Time for him to retire gracefully and pursue his own "activities". Remember, this is the same man who went all over the world at the taxpayer's expense with a large entourage of fellows, and all he came up with was a few thosand sacks of fertiliser -- nowhere near the amount of manure Mitchell himself procuces.

His own racial prejudice fuels his agenda -- so this striking at the colonial past is his MO. Does he still think "Roots" should be played on ZNS at election time? The shortsightedness and blind prejudice fails to register the fallacy of leaving the strength and support of the COmmonwealth. The Bahamas cannot stand alone -- and becoming a piddly replublic will only sacrifice our larger bargaining position for economic and security that we get through belonging to the Commonwealth. Please think about that -- especially with the Chinese on our doorstep. Don't let your biases destroy us further.

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B_I_D___ 7 months ago

We are already a 3rd world banana republic...nothing new there...

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Bigrocks 7 months ago

can't change or cure stupid

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tribanon 7 months ago

We only have Davis and Christie to thank for letting this racist jackarse Mitchell pop-up out of the box again. Mitchell is a well known racist and pseudo (pretend) intellect with probably as many if not more loose marbles upstairs than even Minnis has.

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sheeprunner12 7 months ago

The Bahamas may be the last ex-colony to become a republic ........... it requires a super-majority Parliament vote PLUS a 50%+1 national referendum to change the required Constitutional articles ............. Fweddy will be long dead and the toddlers today will be pensioners before that may happen.

Several commentators already said it, that the PLP soured the whole idea of referendums in The Bahamas ........... The Brave & Fweddy generation will have to live with their stupidity.

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tribanon 7 months ago

The PLP under Christie really soured referendums when they ignored the will of the people as expressed in a duly held national referendum in which a majority of the voters voted against legalizing the web shop gambling and other money laundering activities of the criminal thugs (numbers bosses) like Sebas Bastian and Craig Flowers.

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Alan1 7 months ago

There is no need for our country to become a republic. The stability of the Constitutional Monarchy system which we inherited from the U.K. has served us well. It is a finely balanced system with The Governor-General, Parliament and our Courts all involved.It ensures we have true democracy. We are independent and our Governor-General representing our independent Crown is a Bahamian. For international investors The Monarchy here is an assurance that their investments are safe. Surely we have so many economic problems at the moment this issue should never be on the forefront. Surely Fred. Mitchell and the "young" PLP M.P. which he mentions have enough work to be done without working against our Head of State. As to Barbados there has been opposition to this move but P.M. Mia Mottley refused to give the people a vote so that is hardly democratic. What does Fred Mitchell and the "young" PLP M.P. say to that undemocratic manouevre? The public were not even allowed to attend the private ceremony to initiate a republic. Look at the world- the track records of republics are very poor.

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tribanon 7 months ago

We can only hope Mitchell is pushing up daisies long before The Bahamas ever becomes a monarchless republic.

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tribanon 7 months ago

And to think all Fweddy Boy wants more than just about anything else in his life is to be knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth so he can insist on being called Sir Fweddy Boy. LMAO

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