There is now an ‘Deputy Minister for the Republic’ in Australia, raising the possibility that the Queen is no longer the country’s head of state. Anthony Albanese, the new Prime Minister, has chosen Sydney MP Matt Thistlethwaite, 51, as the party’s top official.
Although the creation of a republic was not on Albanese’s platform, former Labor leaders had committed themselves to it. In a referendum in 1999, 55% of voters said no to a republic.
The Australian Republic Movement, which advocates for an Australian head of state, applauded the move.
“We’re on our way,” proclaimed prominent Republican, author and former rugby international Peter FitzSimons.
“Let the record show, for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, Australia has a singularly dedicated member of government to remove the crown and help Australia become a republic,” he added. .
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Albanese’s manifesto did not include a referendum on the impeachment of the queen, which had been promised by previous Labor leaders. Mr Albanese, a longtime Republican, has previously described the change as “inevitable”.
In a referendum in 1999, 55% of Australians decided against becoming a republic. The triumph was attributed to a debate over a suggestion that the Queen’s replacement would be chosen by parliamentarians rather than the general public.
Albanese said on Tuesday that Labor won enough votes in the May 21 federal election to govern without help from smaller parties or independents. On July 26, the new parliament will meet.
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