Montague: Can we ask King Charles to give up Jamaica? Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A senior member of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Robert Montague, has questioned whether Jamaica could petition King Charles to “give up Jamaica so we can save the expense of a referendum”.

Montague posed the question Wednesday as he made his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives.

A referendum, among other things, is necessary for King Charles, who succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth II on her death on September 8, to be removed as Jamaica’s Head of State.

Noting that Jamaica had unfinished business following the death of the Queen, as the country transitions to a republic, Montague stated: “If we are to be a republic, not only must the constitution be changed but many other symbols, orders and arrangements too.”

“Holding a referendum is not the end all nor be all of the process. I would want it to be the end — sort out everything now — so that when you hold the referendum it’s smooth sailing as a republic,” he said.

While former Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Fort was appointed the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs in January and tasked with overhauling Jamaica’s Constitution, Montague, who has held several senior positions in the JLP and is the current Chairman of the party, asked whether the new Republican-type constitution was drafted and ready.

“Do we need a Constitutional Assembly?” he asked.

Montague pointed out that the seals, emblems and buttons worn by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force would have to be changed.

“We now have an opportunity to change to a Jamaican standard or are we going to change to King Charles [standard] and two years’ time change again?” he said.

The Member of Parliament for St Mary Western said he was asking the questions on behalf of his constituents.

He asked: “Since King Charles III is the King of Jamaica, can he abdicate his Jamaican throne without abdicating his British throne?”

“While we know that if Jamaica wishes to leave the monarchy, we must hold a referendum, what if the King wishes no longer to be our King or Head of State? Where would that leave us? Can we force him to be our Head of State? Is that allowed?” Montague added.

Not finished, he asked whether Jamaicans could petition the King.

“Can we ask him to give up Jamaica, so we can save the expense of a referendum? What’s the timetable or pathway not only to have a referendum, but for a fully functional republic? I am no lawyer but these are some of the questions my citizens (constituents) want answered,” Montague said.