Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, was sworn in for the second time on Thursday. Miller, who briefly held the position in 2007, won a convincing victory in last week’s elections.
Prime Minister Simpson said she aims to fix Jamaica’s ailing economy, get crime under control, heal deep-seeded political divisions, and cut ties to the British monarchy.
During her swearing-in speech, Simpson said the time had come to finally cut all ties to Britain and begin the process of turning Jamaica into a republic.
Despite declaring its independence from Britain in 1962, Jamaica remains apart of the Commonwealth and has Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
According to the Washington Post, “Simpson Miller also said she will replace the Privy Council in London with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica’s highest court of appeal. She said this will ‘end judicial surveillance from London.’”
Jamaica is plagued with problems, including crushing debt, high poverty rates, and rampant crime, however, during her 45-minute speech, Simpson says she will “will work tirelessly that while we try to balance the books we balance people’s lives as well.”