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Posted: Tuesday 25 January, 2005 at 2:21 PM
Norman 'Gus' Thom

    Prime Minister, Owen Arthur 
    Photo: Norman 'Gus' Thomas
    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The people of Barbados could very well become nationals of the Republic of Barbados by the end of 2005. 


    This was made known by Prime Minister Owen Arthur while he addressed a meeting of the Christ Church West and St Michael South branches of the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP). 


    The country's Attorney-General, Mia Mottley will be presenting a draft bill to Parliament in March designed to amend the Constitution. 


    Thirty-eight years ago at Independence, people were not confident in how secure we were in some of the symbols that reflect the Barbadian personality, and a lot was left to be done by future generations, Arthur said, adding that, these generations have to decide what it is they want to accept as the symbolic representation of the Barbados personality as represented by our Head of State. The moment is coming this year." 


    Arthur continued by saying that this BLP will move this country to a higher and mature plane of political development by having changes to our Constitution that embrace many of the proposals of the Henry Forde Constitutional Commission. Some of these proposals address fundamentally, our standing as a nation before the family of nations as a country that is secure in its own identity, to have one of its own become its supreme Head of State. . 


    Prime Minister Arthur told the cheering crowd that, as leader of the "Land of the Flying Fish", he would have serious problems pledging allegiance to a King Harry. 


    Heaven forbid, but if Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II were to die; if Prince Charles and if Prince William were to die, I would have it as a fundamental difficulty swearing allegiance to King Harry. I really would, Arthur told his listeners. 


    He cautioned that 2005 would be a critical year in the development of the country and pointed out that the advent of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME); addressing the gridlock on the countrys roads which affected productivity; and the hosting of Cricket World Cup 2007 are a few of the challenges facing the government. 


    Meanwhile, Arthur's statement has triggered an intense debate across the nation, as to whether there should be a titular president or an executive president for Barbados. One lady from Paris Gap summed it up this way, "please don't take Owen seriously he just longing to see he face on the Barbados dollar." 


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