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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Australia Eyes Republic

CANBERRA, Australia () -- Australia will hold a 10-day convention in December to consider whether the country should become a republic, replacing Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state, Prime Minister John Howard said Wednesday.

But Howard, an avowed monarchist, emphasized that his government had no particular commitment to the republic.

Opinion polls show that about half of Australians favor a republic but also that they think the country has more pressing problems. Many people do not care whether the British monarch or an Australian president is head of state.