Queen Elizabeth II is the queen and head of state of 16 countries, namely: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The 16 are sovereign states, remnants of the British empire, united only in the voluntary and symmetric sharing of the institution of the monarchy, the succession, and the Queen herself.
The role of the monarch however, is a constitutional one, with real powers in the hands of the parliament and prime minister of each respective nations. The monarchy can be ditched by act of parliament, constitutional amendment, or referendum.
Countries where Elizabeth II is queen.
Jamaica’s newly sworn prime minister has immediately vowed to ditch the Queen as her country’s official Head of State. Portia Simpson Miller said she would sever colonial-era links by abandoning the British monarch and adopting a republican form of government.
Taking the oath of office, she said: ‘I love the Queen; she is a beautiful and wise lady. But I think the time has come.’
Jamaica declared independence from Britain in 1962 but remains within the Commonwealth realms and has Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.
She scored a dramatic victory in last week’s national elections, leading her People’s National Party to capture 53.27% of the seats in Jamaican parliament. She and her allies in total won a dominating 42 seats in the 63-seat legislature, the two-third majority required to change the constitution.
She vowed her government will ‘ease the burdens and the pressures of increasing poverty, joblessness and deteriorating standards of living’. She also said it would pursue a tight fiscal policy and forge strong partnerships with the private sector and international partners such as the International Monetary Fund : ‘My administration will work tirelessly that while we try to balance the books we balance people’s lives as well.’
Jamaica is a cash-strapped island with a punishing debt of roughly $18.6 billion, or 130 per cent of gross domestic product. Her People’s National Party said it will try to renegotiate to divert roughly 25 per cent of a troubled $400 million road programme financed by China in order to transfer some of the money to an emergency employment program.
China loaned Jamaica $400 million to finance the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Program, a five-year initiative launched in 2010 to upgrade roads and highways throughout the island of Jamaica. The loans is to repaid over the course of 20 years at 3% interest rates annually. The project however, ran into controversies after it was found that a government agency siphoned $2 million for ‘other purposes’. The program is now at halt till an investigation probe into corruption is completed.
In the past 5 years, 2 monarchies have been abolished, Samoa in 2007 and Nepal in 2008.