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WILL CHARLES BE OUR LAST KING?

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, flanked by former Prime Minister Perry Christie and Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, read a proclamation in Parliament Square Sunday on behalf of Governor General Sir Cornelius Smith proclaiming King Charles III as the country’s new monarch. Photo: BIS

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, flanked by former Prime Minister Perry Christie and Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, read a proclamation in Parliament Square Sunday on behalf of Governor General Sir Cornelius Smith proclaiming King Charles III as the country’s new monarch. Photo: BIS

CLARIFICATION: In the original version of this article last week, The Tribune reported comments by Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis on the prospect of a transition to a republic. In a quote, we reported that Mr Davis said: “I will have a referendum and the Bahamian people will have to say to me, ‘yes’.” What Mr Davis actually said was: “I will have to have a referendum and the Bahamian people will have to say to me, ‘yes’.” We are happy to clarify the matter.

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INGRAHAM READS PROCLAMATION

FORMER Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham read a proclamation in Parliament Square yesterday on behalf of Governor General Sir Cornelius Smith proclaiming King Charles III as the country’s new monarch.

“Our late sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II died on the eighth day of September 2022 and by whose death the Crown of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas now is solely and rightfully comes to Prince Charles Philip Arthur George,” Mr Ingraham, who serves as a senior member of the Privy Council, said.

He was flanked by Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis and former Prime Minister Perry Christie.

“Now, therefore, I, Sir Cornelius Smith, governor general of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, along with the president and members of the Senate, the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly and the members of the late majesty’s Privy Council in the realm of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, with one voice and consent, publish and proclaim that King Charles III by the death of our sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, is now formally proclaimed sovereign of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

“God save the King,” Mr Ingraham said.

Various officials, including members of Parliament, the Senate, the judiciary and law enforcement, attended the event.

“Three cheers for His Majesty, the King,” Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said during the ceremony before leading Royal Bahamas Police Force officers into a cheer.

There was also a 21-gun salute.

King Charles ascended the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, at her summer residence in Scotland on Thursday at the age of 96.

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said on Friday that his administration will let Bahamians decide whether The Bahamas should transition into a republic amid reignited discussion over the issue following Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

Speaking to reporters after signing the book of condolences for the Queen at the Senate, Mr Davis suggested that while he would support the move, the decision on the country’s future with the monarchy ultimately lies with the Bahamian public.

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Former Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett, former Prime Minister Perry Christie, Ann Marie Davis, Prime Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis, Opposition leader Michael Pintard and former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham. Photo: Austin Fernander

“The only challenge with us moving to a republic is that I can’t, as much as I would wish to do it, I cannot do it without your consent,” he said.

“I will have to have a referendum and the Bahamian people will have to say to me, ‘yes’.”

Asked if having a referendum was on the table, the prime minister replied that it was.

“For me, it always is but again it is our people who will have to decide,” he added.

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GOVERNOR General CA Smith at the proclamation ceremony yesterday. Photos: BIS

Before her death on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth was recognised as the country’s head of state. That title now goes to her son, King Charles III, who succeeded her.

However, her death — which signals the end of an era — has reignited discussion about the country’s readiness towards becoming a republic and removing the British monarch as head of state.

Weighing in on the matter Friday, Social Services Minister Obie Wilchcombe told reporters he didn’t find it surprising that many are now debating the issue, especially when considering how much the country has grown.

And with the country set to celebrate its 50th year of independence next year, the minister suggested that it was perhaps time for The Bahamas to start thinking about the way forward.

“There will be some discussions I am sure in our country about moving on,” Mr Wilchcombe said. “I have heard some of my colleagues express for a long time and that is a debate that will happen. The truth is The Bahamas has grown and we’re going to be 50 years old next year and we have come a long way from a fishing village to a colony and we’re now independent.

“We pretty much fight for ourselves and we struggle on our own and we have partners and friends which will not go away and as other countries have done, they have remained members of the Commonwealth so there are stages and I think that we’re near that stage and I expect more debate to continue.”

Former Prime Minister Perry Christie – who formed a constitutional commission in 2012 to review the Constitution of The Bahamas and other matters like whether The Bahamas should evolve into a republic — also chimed in on the matter on Friday.

He said Commonwealth countries are now making decisions about their future with the monarch and further noted that King Charles’ performance as monarch will play a large role in helping countries determine their next steps.

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In Rawson Square on Sunday.

“The question and challenge now is that the new king, King Charles, will have the role to play that his mother played magnificently and the question will be how effective that will be to keep everything going in the way it has in the past,” he said.

Asked if he would support the move towards making The Bahamas a republic, Mr Christie did not give a definitive answer, saying the matter was not seriously considered during his time in office.

“I would not want to pre-empt the government. I had the opportunity to serve as prime minister and it never became a relevant consideration at the time that I served as prime minister.

“It obviously hasn’t become much of a question to date in The Bahamas. We have a new government and it’s for them to continue to look closely at governance in our country and make a determination, hopefully with the support of our people as to which steps we take in our maturation process and that’s what it’s all about.”

While acknowledging that change is important, he also said Bahamians must be ready for it.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he was not an advocate “for any changes,” adding that he liked The Bahamas as it is now.

He told reporters: “I have no comment to make about what The Bahamas might do in the future. I am quite comfortable as I am now and if the government of The Bahamas choose to do something else, it’s entirely up to them but I am not an advocate for any changes. I like it as it is now.”

For his part, Free National Movement leader Michael Pintard said he would support national conversation on the matter and believes the country should develop a white paper on what the move could mean for us.

There has not been a strong push here for The Bahamas to become a republic, however some prominent figures have expressed support for such a move.

Last December, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell told The Tribune he is still committed to seeing The Bahamas become a republic, calling that development his life’s work.

His comments came weeks after Prime Minister Davis and a delegation visited Barbados to observe the country’s highly publicised transition to a republic.

Meanwhile, during his visit to The Bahamas earlier this year as a part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Prince William said the monarchy would support decisions The Bahamas makes about its future, adding that “relationships evolve, friendship endures”.

Comments

sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

That requires a referendum. DOA

We haven't forgotten the PLP tricks in the last two referenda

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Socrates 2 months, 3 weeks ago

change just for sake of change... whats the point?

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Agree. No sense of switching to another toothless President with a PM who is a constitutional dictator as we have now.

Tear up the 1973 Constitution and set up a federal system with a President and unicameral Parliament. The Family Islands need some real local government.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Totally agree. Before any talk of change to a republic I want to hear specific, measurabe, sensible, meaningful, progressive reforms that are supposed to occur and by what date. Department of corrections is still giving inmates slop buckets, nothing corrective about that, its the same "Fox Hill Prison" with a fancy name

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AnObserver 2 months, 3 weeks ago

You can pilfer more from the people without oversight.

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BMW 2 months, 3 weeks ago

They are holding back 40% 0f company VAT refunds because there are companies not paying VAT. What sense is this.

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JokeyJack 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A country whose people are FORBIDDEN from knowing what happens to the tax monies they are REQUIRED to pay, has neither the intelligence nor the morality to be a Republic.

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bcitizen 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Our government needs so many more reforms done than having another elected joke of an official. Changing to a republic will solve none of our current problems. Please focus on other reforms. Waste of time and money, holding referendums and possibly switching to a republic. All this can do is give a useful distractions to our current problems for politicians.

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LastManStanding 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Why bother holding a referendum? It is quite clear that our opinion wont be respected anyways.

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Alan1 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The last thing we need is a referendum on a republic. Why should our Bahamas join the failed third world republic club?We have an excellent parliamentary system with British-style courts and a neutral Bahamian Governor-General above politics. This system works very well in Canada, Australia,New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries.It attracts needed investment here. Why should we throw all of that away? We have too many other immediate problems before tackling unnecessary issues.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Do you call our system "excellent"????

Pindling and his cronies knew just how to manipulate the Constitution so that he and his protoges would stay in power, uncontested by the people and bastardized by crooked, corrupt MPs in the House of Assembly. We are reaping that right now.

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Baha10 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed Alan 1 … let us try to reverse our decline and strive for Western 1st World, not trigger free fall to join 3rd World Republics.

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GodSpeed 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe figure out how to feed yourself first before worrying about becoming a republic.

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BMW 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Our politicians love to talk about this, How many millions they have earmarked for tiefing I mean farming?

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tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I wish we could have a national referendum on the removal of Davis as PM and Cooper as DPM. That would certainly be a much more worthwhile referendum.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The referendum was held last year on Minnis. Bahamians voted for worse. Just too bad.

We vote for the leaders of parties now, almost like a President in a republic. That is because we have little confidence that the MPs will stand up and represent their constituents, and not their selfish ambitions. That is the failure of our system - MPs who serve their party leaders.

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tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

No PM since SLOP could ever be labelled as more evil, arrogant, corrupt, and incompetent than Tyrant Minnis. But the very cruel, sinister, corrupt, and incompetent Davis is certainly well on his way to snatching from Vomit Christie the runner-up award for 'Worst Ever PM'. And as we all came to learn, Hubigitty Ingraham is almost as vindictive and arrogant as Tyrant Minnis.

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Honestman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

By any number of metrics, The Bahamas has gone backwards after almost 50 years of independence? Why not go the whole hog and become a Republic? That will help, lol. Davis is playing to the gallery again. Why doesn't he try to be a leader for once instead of a politician?

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themessenger 2 months, 3 weeks ago

During the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge visit in March of this year Brave Davis was quoted as saying; “As we approach almost 50 years of sovereignty, the United Kingdom continues to be one of our closest friends and allies. Honourable members may not be aware that, each year when hurricanes threaten us, the United Kingdom continues to provide essential support by following hurricanes with British Navy vessels, to provide vital rescue and relief efforts."

One has to wonder what will be the state of this relationship if we move to a Republic and the UK no longer has any obligation to a country that told them to carry their ass.

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BMW 2 months, 3 weeks ago

our politicians have very short memories! They cannot see all the advantages of being COMMONWEALTH of the Bahamas.

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OMG 2 months, 3 weeks ago

when Andrew hit Eleuthera, the first ships and crew to arrive were from the UK and a British infantry contingent flew in from Belize.

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mandela 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It won't make a difference either way until Bahamians start to think my Bahamas and not I'm PLP, FNM, or any other political party.

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The divisive questions some just are not wantin' be asked that beg answers to skipped over common sense. like: ... (1). Why didn't the Tribune publish for 'ordinary popoulaces' readin' the text as read by Papa Hubert of the proclamation in Parliament Square Sunday on behalf of Governor General Sir Cornelius Smith, proclaiming King Charlie III King reign over the colony? (2). Where's the proof supporrtin' there is a pushup challenge by the realm's 1200 rocks 'ordinary popoulaces' were in fact seekin' a process stating that the colony of 1200 rocks relationship England is in need to be urgently annulled? (3), Shouldn't such a heavy sudden call displacement of a colony''s new monarch not have first to have been run by a full-time governor-general? and (4). Before premiership's lone desire resutin' in promising the askin' of a politically motivated, funded and run out of the premiership's office turned into a political colour t-shirt question to an electorate 'ordinary popoulaces' not first has been put to a ""free vote** on the floors the House and Red Chamber? ... Long live King Comrade Charlie III as was duly proclaimed by Cooper Town's Comrade Papa Hubert ― Yes?

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Flyingfish 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Lol, before we even think about become a republic can we at least have a senate where 9 out of the 16 seats aren't picked by the PM. Like what is the senate for, is it a rubberstamp club.

Local government on NP and increases of power for Family Island Local Gov. It would be nice if we had a city government to clean the mess downtown that we are always promised about.

Also lets get rid of First Past the Post, one of the most undemocratic electoral systems in the world. It only in encourages a 2 party state, of course the PLP and FNM won't let it happen.

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sheeprunner12 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Pindling put ALL of that in place in 1973.

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lobsta 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Things won't change before Nassau's airport isn't renamed.

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hrysippus 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Flyingfist wants to get rid of the first past the post electoral system because it results in a 2-party political system, A little learning is a dangerous thing. The English 2-party system of governing has worked better than all else for hundreds of years. Getting rid of it for proportional representation instead will always result in a weak government coalition of several different parties. Such a government has difficulty getting any effective legislation passed without compromises that undermine its effectiveness. There are several examples of this over the past 50 years or so.

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LastManStanding 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It is not a black and white choice between FPTP and pure PR. We can easily have a STV or ranked choice system, which I think would help third parties gain representation at some point.

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tribanon 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Had to do a double-take on the photo with Michael Barnett in it. At first take, I thought he was Labour Director Robert Farquharson.

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

You know it's not going' painfully unnoticeable how Comrade Sheeprunner12, staunch defender Long Island's MP, would even attempt to use this new King opportunity to post his twisting the many accomplishments are justly attributed directly to the late premiership 1930 Nassau native son born Lynden Oscar Pindling ... whilst ignoring' that it was under he who is regarded as the "Father of the quasi-Nation Colony" that semi-successfully lead the transition was to free a popoulaces' from living' as 'Subjects' under direct English monarch's rule ― Yes?

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realfreethinker 2 months, 3 weeks ago

How come HAM is not in this photo?

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TalRussell 2 months, 3 weeks ago

@ Realthinker,now after some realthinking' ... nor has the Red Party's Opposition Leader Comrade "Sister" Loretta Butler-Turner been given her due appearance in the photo ― Yes?

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Twocent 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Watch and see….as a republic we will be delude enough to think we are truly independent…and as such we will sign agreements in the Caribbean and or Americas, that compromise our ability to trade freely, as they did in the EU, and then hand over our legal rights, as they did in the EU, and before you know it we are no longer independent but are part of a new “Union”unable to govern ourselves, until, under our new dictators we are a Global Union! Either way….it’s all the same.

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SP 2 months, 3 weeks ago

LOL......Total steaming horse nanny!

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