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Friday, 27 October 2017 - 10:13
Australia Deputy PM disqualified from office due to dual citizenship
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Foreign citizens cannot sit in Australia's parliament
Joyce will now re-contest his seat in a by-election
 
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has been removed from parliament for being a New Zealander, putting the government's majority at risk.

Joyce was one of the several lawmakers ruled ineligible by the High Court in Canberra, but the only one from the lower house.

The Australian constitution bars citizens of foreign countries from serving in parliament.

Joyce's exit strips the government of its one-seat majority, but he could return through a by-election.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who renounced New Zealand citizenship in August, has pledged to re-contest his lower house seat.
"I respect the verdict of the court," Joyce said immediately after the verdict.

"We live in a marvellous democracy, with all the checks and balances they have given us all the freedoms we see. I thank the court [for] their deliberations."

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

Another two politicians under scrutiny, senators Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon, were ruled to have been validly elected.

The dual citizenship saga has captivated Australian politics since July, prompting dozens of MPs to publicly clarify their status.
(In puts: CNN & BBC)
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