Australia will soon be a republic

Australia no longer wants the Queen

The heads of government of seven of the eight Australian states signed a declaration directed against the British monarch as head of state and in favor of the establishment of a republic. "In the 21st century we should achieve something better than recruiting our head of state from a family of unelected English who live in a palace in London," said the leader of the Republican Movement, Peter FitzSimons. "We are world leaders in so many areas," said the East Coast Prime Minister of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, according to the Republican Movement. "It is time for one of us to lead the country as head of state."

Referendum while the Queen was still alive?

The head of government of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, spoke out in favor of holding the referendum soon out of "respect" for the incumbent Queen Elizabeth II. "What are we waiting for? Are we waiting for her to die?" He told ABC. In his opinion, it is "much more respectful" to involve the Queen in the transition. You will do it just as "elegantly and competently" as your duties as head of state, said Weatherill.

The Conservative Prime Minister in Canberra, Malcolm Turnbull, and opposition leader Bill Shorten of the Labor Party are also in favor of the republic. However, Turnbull had recently spoken out in favor of not holding such a vote during Queen Elizabeth II's lifetime.

Turnbull's predecessor Tony Abbott, an ardent supporter of the monarchy, attracted a lot of ridicule a year ago when he bestowed the Australian Knighthood on Prince Philip, the Queen's husband.

The new "Declaration of Intended Independence", signed by most of the top politicians, was published the day before the national holiday commemorating the landing of the first English ships on the fifth continent in 1788. The leader of the pro-republic movement, FitzSimons, announced that he would organize another referendum on the form of government in Australia.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state of the former British colony is either the Queen or the King in London. In a 1999 referendum, 55 percent of Australians voted for maintaining the monarchy. Since then, in several polls, a majority has come out in favor of converting it into a republic.

qu / sti (dpa, afp, rtr)