losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com November 18, 2017


Barnaby Joyce nearly called it quits amid citizenship row

30 October 2017, 02:01 | Katrina Lee

Govt considering dual citizenship changes

Labor says it has legal advice that Barnaby Joyce's decisions could be challenged if he is found ineligible

The High Court will be asked to rule on whether the decisions were constitutionally valid, as they were made after the two ministers effectively ceased to hold office last October.

Barnaby Joyce was one of seven politicians affected by a High Court decision which disqualified him because he held dual citizenship when he ran for election previous year.

"I had no reason to believe I was a citizen of any other country but Australia".

"Now I am going to make sure that I don't cry in my beer, I will get back at work and work hard for the people in my electorate, the electorate of New England, and make sure I do the best job for my nation".

The court's decision means the government loses its one-seat majority in the lower House of Representatives as it awaits the by-election for Mr. Joyce's seat in December. He is expected to win.

The other four politicians - Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam - had been elected to the Senate.

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The court ordered a by-election for Joyce's seat.

Australia's constitution states that members of parliament can not be "a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power".

The seven judges rejected the government's argument that five of the lawmakers, including three government lawmakers, should be exempt from the ban because they had not voluntarily acquired or retained citizenship of another country.

On Friday afternoon, the High Court ruled Joyce is no longer a Member of Parliament. He has renounced his New Zealand citizenship, so can stand as a candidate again.

Despite his disappointment over the ruling, he also tried to keep part of his address to the media light-hearted - even joking about the possibility of swapping places with Independent senator Nick Xenophon, who was found eligible to sit in Parliament but has already flagged his intention to quit Federal politics and run in the South Australian state election next March.



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