Prince Charles assures Commonwealth countries are free to abandon monarchy – 6/24/2022

Kigali, June 24, 2022 (AFP) – Prince Charles said at the opening of the Commonwealth leaders’ meeting on Friday (24) that member states are free to leave the monarchy and expressed his “sadness” over the slavery past of Great Britain. .

This summit (CHOGM) takes place in Rwanda, which joined the Commonwealth in 2009, at a time when the association of 54 Member States is going through deep questions, in a period of transition to the British monarchy and questioning of the past. colonialist.

In 14 of the Member States, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State, and some of them do not hide their desire to distance themselves from the monarchy, like Barbados, which has declared itself republic in November 2021.

“Within the Commonwealth, there are countries which have constitutional links with my family, some which still have them and others which have less and less,” said Prince Charles, who represents his mother, the Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth.

“I want to make it clear, as I have said before, that the constitutional regime of each member, as a republic or a monarchy, depends exclusively on the decision of each member state,” he insisted in front of dozens of leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. . , and Canadian, Justin Trudeau.

The heir to the British crown also acknowledged that the roots of the Commonwealth “run deep in the most painful time in our history”.

“I cannot describe my personal sadness at the suffering of so many people as I continue to deepen my understanding of the lasting effects of slavery,” he said.

CHOGM is in the midst of a controversy over a deal to deport illegal migrants from the UK to Rwanda, which has sparked outrage from several human rights NGOs, the UN and even of the Anglican Church.

According to the British press, Prince Charles privately expressed his disagreement with this provision. However, the government has promised to persist with the evictions, which were blocked on June 14 by a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The CHOGM, which is due to end on Saturday, should see the integration of two new members: Togo and Gabon.

“New nations are looking to join us, which is a testament to the health and vitality of our Commonwealth,” commented Boris Johnson.

The summit must also lead to fierce competition for the leadership of the organization.

Jamaica’s Kamina Johnson Smith is challenging Britain’s Patricia Scotland for the post of general secretary, despite an organizing convention which stipulates that the incumbent must run unopposed for a second term.


Elmer Hayward

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