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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Australian PM says he will not hold republic referendum during his first term out of ‘deep respect’ for Queen

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Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, says this period is a “time to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II” and to show “deep respect and admiration”, not to pursue “questions about our constitution”.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told Sky News that he will not call a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic in his first term in his first international interview since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

He stated that now is the time to express appreciation for the Queen’s “service to Australia, the Commonwealth, and the world.”

The nation’s connection with the monarchy has come under renewed discussion in light of the passing of the Queen, and Mr. Albanese has previously argued that Australia needs to have an Australian head of state.

But he added that today is not the time to investigate “issues about our constitution” and that it is instead a “moment to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II” and to demonstrate “great respect and appreciation.”

The Queen, according to the prime minister, stood by Australia in both good and difficult times.

“I think the Queen was with Australians during times of celebration – the opening of this house, Parliament House, in 1988, the opening of the Sydney Opera House during our great historic events, but was also with Australia at times of difficulties,” he said.

“This is a land of cyclones, of floods, of natural disasters, and Queen Elizabeth always reached out to give that comfort to Australians at our time of need.

“She was such a respected figure, regardless of where people stand on the political spectrum. That 70 years of public service, that devotion to duty, is something that holds her in such high regard.”

Australians claim that the Queen’s ability to maintain political neutrality toward their country contributed to the success of her reign.

Mr Albanese said he was sure King Charles III would also be “very conscious of the need to stay above politics”.

The prime minister continued: “He’s someone who has a deep relationship with Australia. I hope that he is able to visit here on an occasion as soon as possible.

“This, of course, is a substantial change. The only monarch that we have known in my lifetime, and in the lifetime of most Australians, has been Queen Elizabeth.”

Asked whether Australians want to see the institution of the monarchy evolve, Mr Albanese said: “It has evolved and it will continue to evolve. It will need to continue to move with the times.

“But the bigger questions about our constitution are not ones for this current period. This is a period in which we are sharing the grief that so many Australians are feeling at the moment, showing our deep respect and admiration for the contribution of the Queen to Australia.

“It’s a sad time. There’s also a time to celebrate what is a long life, well lived.”

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