Australia's deputy leader Barnaby Joyce has been disqualified from his position because he held dual citizenship when he was elected. Four other politicians were also disqualified. Holding two passports made them dual citizens. This made them ineligible for being a "subject or citizen of a foreign power". Australia's constitution prohibits dual nationals from being elected. Australia's ruling National Party* now has just 75 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives. Mr Joyce could return to office by running in a by-election. He renounced his New Zealand citizenship in August.
Mr Joyce said the court's decision showed the democratic values of Australia. He said: "I respect the verdict of the court. We live in a marvelous democracy….It has given us all the freedoms we see. I thank the court." He added: "The decision of the court today is clearly not the outcome we were hoping for, but the business of government goes on." Many Australians believe the dual citizenship laws should be changed. Around 28 per cent of Australians were born overseas. Many have a family history going back generations that could allow them to have dual citizenship.
*CORRECTION: Australia's current government is a coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party. The Prime Minister is Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party. Barnaby Joyce is from the National Party.