‘Not Now’ – PM Rejects Republican Questions



Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says it is not the time for constitutional questions as his New Zealand counterpart made it clear she had no intention of steering away from a monarchical system.

The leaders were both asked about the potential for their countries to become republics when they visited Britain for the Queen’s funeral.

Mr Albanian said the time was not right to discuss whether Australia could become a republic.

He was asked in a TNZT interview when the question might arise again, with Australians voting against the move in a referendum just before the turn of the century.

“I don’t think now is the time to discuss those issues, and I made that clear,” he said on Sunday.

“This is a time when we must recognize the life of service to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.”

He said the late monarch had a “close affinity” with Australia and was always with his people in “times of trouble”.

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NZ PM Jacinda Ardern suggested she still believed her country would likely make the transition during her lifetime, but said ties between Commonwealth countries would continue even as relations with Britain developed over the years.

Reflecting on the change to sovereign, Ms Ardern said the move from queen to king would not be “shocking” for New Zealand as Charles was “known” in the country.

“That relationship already exists. It’s a transition, but it’s not a shocking transition for New Zealand,” she said in a separate interview with the TNZT.

When asked why she had said in the past that she believed New Zealand would become a republic during her lifetime, she said: “I think even the Queen herself has observed the evolution in our relationships over time and recognized.

“My observation is that there will continue to be an evolution in our relationship. I don’t believe it will be any time soon or soon, but over the course of my life.”

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In addition to Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia, the king is head of state for 12 Commonwealth realms.

These are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

But the future role of the monarchy in some countries seems less certain with the onset of a new government.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said after the Queen’s death he would call for a referendum on the country becoming a republic within three years.

Jamaica is expected to follow Barbados, which became a republic in November 2021, although it remains within the Commonwealth.

Mrs. Ardern also reflected on her first meeting with the Queen, in which she asked how the late monarch managed to be both mother and leader.

Ms Ardern, who was pregnant at the time of the exchange, said: “For example, I asked her what one of the things I thought about besides being a new prime minister was a prime minister and a mother.

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‘I said to her, ‘How did you manage?’ And I remember she just said, ‘Well, go ahead’.

“And that was actually probably the best and most, I think, factual advice I could have.”

Mr Albanese also said in his TNZT interview that he would be “very comfortable” if the king expressed his views on the “importance of climate change”.

“We know that in Australia the effects of bushfires, floods, natural disasters are doing exactly what science told us would happen, which is that there have always been natural disasters in Australia, but they are more common, and they are more intense,” he says. .

“Therefore, this issue should not be a partisan political issue. It should be a problem for the world to face.”



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