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Aussies poll in favor of republic

Nov. 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM

SYDNEY, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Fifty-nine percent of Australians would like to cut ties with the British monarchy and turn their country into a republic, a poll suggests.

The poll, commissioned by the Australian Republican Movement, queried 1,000 people about whether they favored a republic, The Times of London reports.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents indicated they wanted a referendum on the issue by 2013.

Supporters of a republic suffered a major setback in 1999 when Australians went to the polls in a closely fought referendum and voted in favor of maintaining the status quo, Sky News said Friday.

Supporters of the monarchy gathered in Sydney this week to celebrate what they call the anniversary of Affirmation Day.

Their leader David Flint brushes aside any suggestions that having the queen of a foreign country as your sovereign is anachronistic.

"We don't regard her as a foreigner," Flint says. "She is the Queen of Australia and therefore she is Australian."

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