Canberra, May 9: Five Australian parliamentarians were ousted on Wednesday for holding dual citizenship when they were elected. It comes as a fresh blow to Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s majority in the House. In what was widely viewed as a fresh test case, a high court ruled Senator Katy Gallagher ineligible, the BBC reported. Four other politicians, who were also under scrutiny, resigned after the verdict.
Gallagher and lower house MPs Justine Keay, Josh Wilson and Susan Lamb are members of the opposition Labor party. The fifth MP, Rebekha Sharkie, is part of minor party Centre Alliance. In 2017, 10 MPs and senators were removed from office for violating a constitutional rule that prohibits federal political candidates from being dual nationals, the BBC report said. The dual citizenship saga has destabilised Australian politics since July 2017, at times threatening Turnbull’s majority in the House of Representatives. Turnbull could increase his majority if he wins any of the vacant lower house seats, the BBC reported. (IANS)