Australian Deputy Prime Minister knocked by High Court in Citizenship case


By Rekha Bhattacharjee  

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a news conference in  Canberra  the decision was “not the outcome we were hoping for” .

The High Court of Australia ( known as Supreme Court in  India) struck the eligibility of the Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce ”“ ineligible to sit in parliament.

The Deputy Leader of the Nationals Fiona Nash was also struck down! The third National MP who had stepped down after advice he was a Italian citizen has been ruled eligible. He will be inducted into Cabinet immediately. Seven MPs in total were before Court.

Prime Minister Turnbull will take his Deputy’s portfolio on an interim basis as ”“ Barnaby Joyce is eligible for a by- election.

It means Joyce won’t return to parliament until February at the earliest leaving the government to face the final two weeks of the year relying on the support of at least one crossbencher to retain the confidence of parliament and pass legislation through the lower house.

The Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was quick to tweet ”“ ”˜Joyce broke the law and as a result, we now have a minority government. Turnbull should have stood him aside, terrible Judgement once again’ .The Deputy Leader of Opposition Tania Plibersek said “Australia  now has a hung parliament with a minority government”.

The Constitution bans dual nationals from Parliament, a prohibition that critics have condemned as outdated in a country where almost half the people are immigrants or have an overseas born parent.

Prime Minister Turnbull has said the government will refer to section 44 of the Constitution to the parliamentary committee on electoral matters.


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