Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Nine new politicians facing High Court referral over dual citizenship concerns

Nine new politicians facing High Court referral over dual citizenship concerns

Opposition Labor Senator Katy Gallagher referred herself to the High Court on Wednesday and has quit her Senate positions, the Guardian reported.

Dual nationals are not allowed to stand for parliament in Australia.

A further eight MPs could also face the court, Australian media reported, after their citizenship status was called into question when a deadline for politicians to disclose the birthplace of their parents and grandparents passed on Tuesday.

It's expected more politicians will be caught out when the information is made public.

The Prime Minister said the Australian people were instead sick of the "dishonesty, the twists and turns of the Opposition".

She maintains that she is eligible to sit in Parliament because she took all "reasonable steps" under British law to renounce.

Mr Feeney was unable to locate documents to support his assertion that he had relinquished United Kingdom citizenship.

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Ms Gallagher asked for the referral because she was a British citizen on the nomination date for the 2016 election.

The disclosures, finalised this week, led to speculation about the eligibility of several politicians.

"The Labor Party will now be circulating in the chamber, and the crossbench have indicated their willingness to have an opportunity to vote on a esolution that would refer the following members to the High Court".

With the vote tied at 73-73, speaker Tony Smith cast the deciding vote (in line with precedent) to shoot down the motion.

The government did not support referring its own members to the High Court, with the prime minister arguing that the paperwork published on the citizenship register showed that the government MPs did not have citizenship of the countries Labor had alleged.

Senator Gallagher's declaration, lodged under new parliamentary rules for citizenship disclosure, also reveals she sat in the Senate as a dual citizen for nearly 18 months after filling a casual vacancy in 2015.

Although Joyce easily regained his seat at a by-election on Saturday, the crisis still has the government precariously clinging to power and has already dented its ability to pursue its political agenda.

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