Australia's new Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to throw off the yoke of the British monarchy, and lead Australia to become a republic, but only after Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. Australia is currently a constitutional monarchy, which technically means that the Queen of England may dissolve the Australian government, as it happened in 1975. Gillard said she harbours no ill-will towards the queen. "Obviously I'm hoping for Queen Elizabeth that she lives a long and happy life," she said. "And having watched her mother I think there's every chance that she will live a long and happy life, but I think that's probably the appropriate point for a transition to a republic." Gillard's opponent in the upcoming elections says things are fine the way they are. National/Liberal coalition chief Tony Abbott says he does not expect any change in the country's political system in his lifetime. A republican referendum in 1999 was voted down, but it remains a divisive issue in Australia. Read more: CNN, the AFP and BBC New
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