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Five Australian MPs ousted over dual citizenship

Five Australian MPs ousted over dual citizenship”

Australian Labor Senator Katy Gallagher has lost her seat in parliament after the High Court found on Wednesday she did not do enough to renounce her dual citizenship before she was elected.

In what was widely viewed as a fresh test case, a high court ruled Senator Katy Gallagher ineligible, the BBC reported.

Attorney General Christian Porter says a new High Court ruling means four sitting MPs must resign before the end of the day.

Since July past year, section 44 of the constitution, which bans dual citizens from being federal members of parliament, has ended the political careers of former Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam.

Six months ago, seven federal politicians had to defend themselves against claims that they weren't complying with this part of the constitution - and majority failed.

But given politicians such as Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters served multiple terms, the total figure of wages paid to ineligible politicians would be far greater than $4.9 million.

For Gallagher, things are a little different. Another four lawmakers quit after the court dismissed her.

The only excuse for being a dual citizenship at the time of an election is when foreign law "irremediably prevents" the Australian citizen renouncing foreign citizenship, according to the High Court's interpretation.

But it's a very, very thin tightrope, as today's case showed.

The most marginal seat is Longman, held by Labor's Susan Lamb, who has been under most pressure because the Government argues she is still a British citizen. She should have done more.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said three of the ousted MPs would seek re-election.

Gallagher accepted the verdict and said she has "more to contribute to public life".

She defeated Liberal Jamie Briggs at the 2016 federal election to take the Adelaide Hills-based seat of Mayo.



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