Australia: Appointment of ‘Minister for Republic’

Australia appointed an “Assistant Minister for The Republic”, in a move towards ending the leadership of Queen Elizabeth II.

Highlights

  • This move triggered a fresh wave of speculations, that British monarch will no longer be considered the head of the state.
  • Newly-elected Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, appointed 51-year-old Sydney MP Matt Thistlethwaite for this position.
  • The move was announced after PM Albanese called Australia becoming a republic “inevitable”.
  • He had also promised for a referendum on giving Aboriginal Australians an institutional role in policymaking.

Background

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who is a republican, reportedly stressed on shifting Australia away from monarchy during his campaign, when UK monarch is set to mark the Platinum Jubilee of her reign.

Monarchy in Australia

Monarchy of Australia is a form of government in Australia, embodied by Australian sovereign and head of state. It is a constitutional monarchy, which is modelled on Westminster system of parliamentary government. It incorporates features, which are unique to Constitution of Australia. Elizabeth II is the present Monarch and styled Queen of Australia. She reigned since February 6, 1952. She is represented in Australia as a whole by the Governor-General, in accordance with the Australian Constitution. The Governor-General and governors are appointed by the Monarch, on the advice of State and Federal government respectively.

What does Australian constitutional law say about Monarch?

Australian constitutional law provides that, monarch of the United Kingdom will also act as monarch in Australia. Thus, Australia is one of the Commonwealth realms and fifteen independent countries, sharing same person as monarch and head of state.

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