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Australia's deputy PM found to be a New Zealander

Australia’s deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, may be ineligible to sit in the country’s parliament after it emerged he is a New Zealand citizen.

Joyce is potentially the fifth politician in recent weeks to fall foul of constitutional rules barring dual citizens from Australia’s parliament.

The laws, designed to ensure loyalty to Australia from elected representatives, have already caught out four senators since mid-July, forcing two to quit parliament.

Joyce’s case is by far the most significant for the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and his rightwing Coalition government. Turnbull leads the Liberal party and Joyce leads its junior partner, the National party.

If Joyce is forced out of parliament, the Turnbull government would lose its one-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Joyce is the first lower house member and the most senior minister to face questions about his eligibility.

The matter will now go before the high court, the highest court in Australia’s judicial system, to determine whether Joyce’s New Zealand citizenship made him ineligible for office.

Read more at theguardian.com

Publication date: 8/15/2017


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