Antigua and Barbuda to vote on whether to remove British monarch as head of state, PM says

The content originally appeared on: CNN

(CNN)The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said the Caribbean country will hold a referendum on whether to become a republic and remove King Charles III as the head of state within the next few years.

The former British colony gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981 but is one of 14 countries to retain the British monarch as head of state. It is also a part of the Commonwealth, a 54-member organization of mostly former British territories.
After confirming King Charles III as the King of Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday, Prime Minister Gaston Browne told ITV News that he planned on holding a referendum on whether the country becomes a republic in the next three years.
“This is a matter that has to be taken to a referendum for the people to decide,” he said, adding that it is not mean to “represent any form of disrespect to the monarch. This is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy.”
He explained that it would be “a final step to complete the circle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation.”