Published: Tue, November 07, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Cory Rios

MPs forced to declare citizenship to parliament: Turnbull

MPs forced to declare citizenship to parliament: Turnbull

Over the last month, the Prime Minister of Australia had to deal with major disarray due to a High Court ruling.

Turnbull's announcement came after Liberal Senator Stephen Parry confirmed that he is a British citizen, rendering him ineligible to serve as an Australian politician.

MPs and senators will be forced to lodge a declaration that they are not a citizen of any country other than Australia, under a plan announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday.

The Australian leader has been facing down calls since for a full audit of parliamentarians to ensure they comply with the country's constitution, which bars foreign nationals from sitting in parliament to prevent split allegiances. Of the five disqualified, four were born in Australia, while one moved from Canada when she was a baby.

Mr Turnbull told a news conference on Monday that all MPs and Senators will be required to submit a declaration of their citizenship.

The new proposal calls on lawmakers born overseas to provide records of how and when they renounced their foreign citizenship.

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Australia's constitution states that citizens of foreign countries can not hold political office.

Cabinet signed off the requirement on Monday afternoon, and once parliament approves the process politicians will have 21 days to produce their declarations.

The new laws would apply to both existing and prospective lawmakers. The new parliamentarians will have the same number of days to comply after their swearing in.

Ever since the legal decision, Malcolm Bligh Turnbull faced calls for an entire scrutiny at the level of parliamentarians. However, he is going to need support from the Labor Party which proposed a similar solution last week.

Turnbull said his plan, unlike an audit, would put the onus on lawmakers to check their own situation and anybody found to have made a false declaration would be in contempt of parliament. Joyce's disqualification has stripped the Turnbull government of its one-seat majority.

Fairfax says there is no record of Mr Alexander's father having renounced at any time after 1948 via the British National Archives online search, while under United Kingdom citizenship laws from that year, children born to British citizens are automatically given citizenship by descent.

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