Australia’s political crisis: Deputy PM disqualified

Australia’s political crisis: Deputy PM disqualified
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has been disqualified from serving in parliament after a high court ruling found him ineligible due to his dual citizenship. It means the current government has lost it’s one seat parliamentary majority. Jacob Greaves reports.

Australia thrust into political crisis…

By a shock decision to block its deputy prime minister form parliament.

The high court ruling found Barnaby Joyce – seen here on the right – ineligible to remain in office.

The reason for the decision: Joyce’s dual citizenship, legally barring him from serving in parliament.

Joyce spoke out after the decision.

“Yeah I have no, no reason to believe I was a citizen of any other country but Australia. I was born just there – just there – and I grew up over there and I served in our nation’s defence forces and I have no reason to believe I was anything but Australian.”

It means his boss, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has lost both a deputy and his one-seat parliamentary majority.

His center-right coalition now finds itself in the perilous position of being a minority government.

And must woo independent MPs to stay afloat.

The prospect of political instability sent the Australian dollar tumbling.

Joyce is one of seven politicians whose eligibility to sit in parliament has been thrown into doubt recently.

In total five have been deemed unable to hold office.

Joyce renounced his New Zealand citizenship in August – he now plans a return to power.

Responding to his disqualification he remarked ‘it’s a tough game, politics’.

It might get tougher; Joyce plans to retake his seat in an upcoming by-election.

Source – Reuters