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Dual nationality sees Aussie Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce disqualified

30 October 2017

The deputy prime minister is the main casualty, after being found to have held dual citizenship when he ran for election.

"The leader of the National Party, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia is qualified to sit in this house and the High Court will so hold", he said.

Australian media say the coalition government consisting of the Liberal Party and the Nationals has been thrown in crisis, as it has lost a one-seat majority in the parliament, at least until the by-election.

Tensions within the Coalition have flared since the High Court last week booted Mr Joyce and his Nationals' deputy Fiona Nash from parliament due to their dual citizenship.

Mr Joyce was unknowingly a New Zealand citizen because his father was born there.

"I had no reason to believe that, you know, I was a citizen of any other country than Australia".

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The court's decision means the government loses its one-seat majority in the lower House of Representatives as it awaits the by-election for Mr. Joyce's seat in December.

It's expected he will win after his main challenger, former independent MP Tony Windsor, announced he would not be running.

The other four politicians - Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam - had been elected to the Senate.

All said they had not been aware of their dual citizenship when they ran for election.

On Friday afternoon, the High Court ruled Joyce is no longer a Member of Parliament. However, the court said the lawmakers' foreign family ties were knowable.

"In any of these decisions, it is an alternative that you have to consider, otherwise you. don't have a balanced approach", Mr Joyce told a local Tamworth radio station.

Dual nationality sees Aussie Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce disqualified