Australian PM to force lawmakers to declare citizenship to end political crisis

By REUTERS
November 6, 2017 07:20
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
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SYDNEY, Nov 6 - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced plans on Monday to force all lawmakers to declare they are not dual nationals as he seeks to defuse a political crisis that saw his deputy ejected from parliament.

Turnbull's center-right coalition government was thrown into disarray last month when the High Court ruled that five lawmakers who were dual nationals, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, were ineligible for parliament.

The Australian leader has been facing down calls since for a full audit of parliamentarians to ensure they comply with the country's constitution, which bars foreign nationals from sitting in parliament to prevent split allegiances.

The High Court ruling expelled three members of the Liberal-National coalition government from parliament, while a fourth resigned days later after confirming he also had dual nationality. The other affected lawmakers were from minority parties, with the main opposition Labor Party yet to be ensnared.

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