Published: Mon, October 30, 2017
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Australian court rules deputy PM ineligible for parliament

Australian court rules deputy PM ineligible for parliament

Julie Bishop has taken on the role of Acting Prime Minister while Malcolm Turnbull is overseas.

Mr. Turnbull will pay his respects at the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem before attending the centenary anniversary late Monday of the famous charge of the Light Horse Brigade at the Battle of Beersheba.

Australia's High Court is due to rule on Friday whether the deputy prime minister can remain in parliament as he held dual citizenship when elected.

His Liberal Party is the senior party in a coalition with the smaller National Party, which Joyce led.

Mr Turnbull has been forced to take over Mr Joyce's role of Minister of Agriculture, being sworn in by the Governor-General on Friday.

"It is business as usual. we're continuing to govern, just from Western Australia".

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With the loss of Mr Joyce, the government is down to 75 seats in the 150 seat lower house.

Barnaby Joyce was one of a group of lawmakers, known as the "Citizens-hip Seven", whose eligibility to sit in parliament was thrown into doubt in recent months when it was found they were dual citizens, a status that is barred for politicians under Australia's constitution to prevent split allegiances.

"There may be a few decisions. As a result of this visit, we aim to upgrade the co-operation on defence, national security, and the protection of crowded places", he said. "But the vast majority of decisions are made by cabinet", she said.

Mr Joyce is expected to win the seat, but the ruling government faces an anxious wait until the by-election is over.

"Once you are declared at the polls, you are entitled to be a member with all that is attached to that, being the minister, being the deputy prime minister, until such time as one of three events occur: you die, you resign or the High Court deems you ineligible", he told reporters in Tamworth.

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