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Amid official mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre said on Monday that it was not the time to discuss leaving the Commonwealth.
“At this time Saint Lucia is part of the Commonwealth and this is not a discussion we can have at this time,” Pierre stated.
“This time is a time when we are mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth,” was Pierre’s response when reporters asked whether this country would remain part of the Commonwealth or move towards becoming a Republic.
The Castries East MP spoke on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet after signing a book of condolence at Government House.
He expressed ‘deep and sincere’ condolences on the death of the Queen, observing that the late Monarch was part of Saint Lucia’s history.
“We were moved by her grace, her professionalism and we deeply mourn her death,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister stated.
“We also want to congratulate the new King – King Charles III,” Pierre told reporters, adding that the king is well-known for his advocacy on matters about youth and the environment.
“I had the pleasure to speak with him earlier this year and we hope he will continue in the fine tradition of his mother,” he said.
Pierre’s remarks came on the heels of reports that Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne had announced that he intended to introduce a referendum on whether his country should become a republic following Queen Elizabeth’s death.
The BBC quoted Browne as saying that a referendum could take place within three years – but emphasised that the move was ‘not an act of hostility’.
According to the BBC, he made the comments after confirming Charles III as King and head of state of the Caribbean nation.