Nick Xenophon Now Embroiled In Section 44 Dual Citizenship Drama

Alicia Cross
August 19, 2017

The inheritance of United Kingdom citizenship by descent landed Nationals cabinet minister Fiona Nash in trouble this week, when she revealed she too was a United Kingdom citizen.

Senator Gallagher said it was unacceptable Senator Nash had stayed quiet about her citizenship doubts since Monday. "The suggestion that I could be a British citizen is something that would absolutely horrify my father", Mr Xenophon told The Australian newspaper.

"Malcolm Turnbull needs to explain why he is holding Mr Joyce and now Senator Nash to a lesser standard than Matt Canavan and not requiring them to stand down".

Nash told the Senate on Thursday night that based on advice from the Solicitor-General she does not resign from the ministry.

The Member for Calwell said she received acknowledgment of her renunciation letter on 21 August 2000.

Senator Nash holds the Regional Development, Regional Communications and Local Government portfolios and sits in cabinet.

"I will also continue as deputy leader of the National party".

Australia's constitution bans dual citizens from parliament on the basis that lawmakers should be loyal exclusively to the country in which they were elected.

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Fiona Nash in parliament yesterday.

One list, published by the Australian, named 50 MPs who had at least a grandparent born overseas.

The Xenophon case means the future of six politician is now at the mercy of the High Court, including three from the Coalition and the two Greens senators who resigned last month, which the status of Queensland One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts also remains under a cloud.

The meaning of section 44 (i) has not been read by the High Court as an absolute bar on a candidate being a foreign citizen.

A court will determine if the deputy Prime Minister is still eligible to hold office, while the careers of a number of other politicians are now in question.

Senator Joyce renounced his New Zealand citizenship on Tuesday, after it emerged on Monday that the deputy prime minister and Nationals leader was a dual citizen, seemingly putting him in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.

Earlier, Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi, a former Liberal, called for Parliament to be suspended until the crisis is resolved.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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