Australian PM wants republic after queen’s death

By Andy Rice 17 August 2010

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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