Australian senate president confirms dual citizenship, will resign




Sydney - Australian Senate President Stephen Parry confirmed Wednesday he was a British dual citizen due to his UK-born father and said he will resign.



 
"I will submit my resignation as both president of the Senate and as a senator for Tasmania to his excellency the Governor-General tomorrow," the Liberal Senator wrote in a letter to other senators, according to local media.
Parry quoted former US president Abraham Lincoln who said in 1864: "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."
Parry, who was born in Australia, had sought advice about his status from British authorities this week. He became the eighth lawmaker to be caught up in the country's ongoing citizenship fiasco.
Australia's constitution states that citizens of foreign countries cannot hold political office.
Last week, the High Court found five parliamentarians were illegally elected last year, including the country's deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, whose ineligibility has put the coalition government's one-seat majority in the Lower House under threat.
Joyce is running in a by-election to be held on December 2.
Some lawmakers on Wednesday called for a nationality audit of all federal parliamentarians.
Liberal member Craig Kelly said election authorities should conduct a full audit of everyone's record and Richard Di Natale, leader of the minority Greens party, supported the move saying "we're entering constitutional crisis territory here."
According to last year's census, 49 per cent of Australians are either born abroad or have one or both parents born abroad. The survey also showed 27 per cent of Australians were born overseas.

Wednesday, November 1st 2017
(dpa)
           


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