More MPs Face Dual Citizenship Questions

07 Décembre, 2017, 03:51 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Labor Senator Katy Gallagher in the Senate chamber

The government, behind in opinion polls and keen to avoid any more by-elections, voted down a Labor proposal to refer those lawmakers' cases to the High Court and said it would not revisit the matter until after the Gallagher case was heard.

Mr Feeney has been referred to the court to clarify his citizenship status, because he could not find documentation relating to the renunciation of his United Kingdom citizenship back in 2007.

The High Court is due to go on a summer break from December 15 and is slated to return February 5.

It's anticipated more federal MPs will be caught up in the dual citizenship saga.

Labor sought to end the fiasco, gaining the support of five crossbenchers to bring on a motion to refer four ALP members, four coalition MPs - Julia Banks, Jason Falinski, Alex Hawke, Nola Marino - and one independent Rebekha Sharkie to the court.

Paperwork reveals the ACT senator was still a British citizen when she nominated in the lead-up to the last election.

However, with the vote tied 73-all Speaker Tony Smith used his casting vote to defeat the motion.

A by-election in former tennis star John Alexander's theoretically safe Sydney seat on Dec 19 will determine whether the government regains its one-seat majority.

Labor MP David Feeney is the latest to be referred to the High Court to clarify his citizenship status because he could not find documentation relating to the renunciation of his United Kingdom citizenship back in 2007.

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

"We can't have a situation where. the decision about whether or not they're eligible is driven by a junior public servant in Great Britain", Labor frontbencher Tony Burke said.

He said she'd done nothing wrong.

Senator Gallagher stood aside from her frontbench portfolios and as manager of opposition business in the Senate.

"When it came time to actually find the document, one of the documents hasn't turned up".

"They must refer themselves or Labor must refer them", she told ABC radio on Thursday.

Dual citizens are ineligible for elected office under Australia's 116-year-old constitution.

Fresh from fighting his own by-election having had to renounce New Zealand citizenship by descent, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce believes government MPs should also be referred if there are questions about their citizenship.

But Pyne dismissed the idea, pointing out the lack of success of past referendums.

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