Citizenship rule to roil Australian leaders
CANBERRA, Australia — All Australian senators would have three weeks to prove they were not foreign nationals when elected under an agreement the major political parties reached Monday to resolve a deepening citizenship crisis that could upend the government.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative coalition could lose two seats in by-elections next month after government lawmaker John Alexander on Saturday resigned from Parliament because he had likely inherited British citizenship from his English-born father.
Australia is rare if not unique in the world in banning dual nationals from sitting in Parliament.
Turnbull’s conservative Liberal Party and the center-left opposition Labor Party agreed to set a Dec. 1 deadline for senators to provide documented evidence that they are solely Australian citizens. Australian-born lawmakers will have to provide details of their parents and grandparents’ dates and countries of birth to demonstrate that they have not inherited a second nationality. Immigrant lawmakers must document steps they have taken to renounce their original nationalities.