More debate on constitutional change expected: Bryce

April 14th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by admin  

Canberra, April 14 (Xinhua) Australian governor-general designate Quentin Bryce said Monday she expects the Commonwealth member-nation to hold comprehensive discussions on whether to declare itself a republic. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was elected last year, had restated his policy of declaring the country a republic when he met Queen Elizabeth II last year in London.

Bryce, who is currently governor of Queensland, will succeed Major General Michael Jeffery in September as the Queen’s representative in Australia.

Bryce will be the first woman to hold the office of governor-general in the history of Australia.

She told reporters in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, that she was honoured to take on the role but would not be drawn on whether she would be the country’s last governor-general with the election of the Rudd government reigniting speculation of Australia moving to a republic, according to a report by Australian Associated Press.

“It’s an issue for the Australian people and there will be a very robust and stimulating debate about that,” she said.

The prime minister, however, told reporters the government had more immediate priorities than a constitutional change and added that the debate on the proposal would continue.

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