Australian deputy PM says he may not be eligible for parliament

Australian deputy PM says he may not be eligible for parliament
Barnaby Joyce speaks to journalists in Jakarta.
PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY - Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Monday he may not be eligible for parliament after being informed he may be a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand.

Australian politicians are not eligible to be elected to parliament if they are hold dual or plural citizenship, a rule that has forced the resignation of two senators in recent weeks.

Joyce said he was informed by New Zealand officials last week that he may be a citizen by descent.

Joyce was born in Australia. His mother was Australian and his father was born in New Zealand and came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject.

"Neither I nor my parents have ever had any reason to believe that I may be a citizen of any other country," he said on Monday.

Joyce asked for the matter to be referred to the Australia's high court for a ruling on his eligibility.

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