JAMAICA will have ditched the Queen as its head of state by 2025, a senior minister in the Caribbean nation has said.

Marlene Malahoo Forte QC, who heads up the nation’s newly created Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, told parliament that the process to transition to a republic had “formally commenced”.

Malahoo Forte said the process would have been completed before the next general election, which is due in 2025.

However, removing the British monarchy will be done “in stages”, and is expected to involve a majority vote in both the House and Senate. The people of Jamaica are also expected to be given the choice in a referendum.

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Malahoo Forte said: “The goal is to ultimately produce a new Constitution of Jamaica, enacted by the Parliament of Jamaica, to inter alia, establish the Republic of Jamaica as a parliamentary republic, replacing the constitutional monarchy, and affirming our self-determination and cultural heritage.

“I am pleased to advise this honourable House that the work to achieve this goal, while being done in stages, has formally commenced."

The National:

The constitution minister (above) further pointed to Barbados, which transitioned to a republic in 2021. She said that, since then, the world has been waiting to see which Caribbean nation will be next to make the move.

Malahoo Forte said a Constitutional Reform Committee would be set up and include members of the opposition.

“The reform work to be done in order to achieve the goal of a new constitution requires cooperation between the government and the parliamentary opposition, as well as the seal of the people,” she explained.

During the 2020 election, the People’s National Party – who are the opposition to Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s Jamaica Labour Party – promised a referendum on the monarchy within 18 months.

A poll published in the Jamaica Observer at the time found that more than half of people would vote to remove the Queen as the country’s head of state.

Eyes have been on the Caribbean since Prince William and Kate embarked on a charm offensive to try and prevent other nations following Barbados in becoming a republic.

However, the royals were greeted with protests and demands for reparations for slavery across multiple stops in their Caribbean tour.

Professor Rosalea Hamilton, who organised those protests in Jamaica, told The National: "The Advocates Network is urging the government to separate the constitutional issues and put the matter of removing the Queen as head of state to a referendum as soon as possible as a first step.

"This matter has been debated for decades. It's now time to act."