The Associated Press CANBERRA (AP) — Australia’s prime minister on Monday proposed making all lawmakers prove they are not dual citizens in a move that could threaten the stability of his own government.
The High Court last month disqualified five lawmakers, including two government ministers, because they breached a 116-year-old constitutional ban on foreign citizens sitting in Parliament, creating an unprecedented political crisis.
Calls for an audit of all lawmakers’ citizenship intensified when a senior government senator announced last week that he was resigning from his 350,000 Australian dollar ($270,000) a year job because he had inherited British citizenship from his father. Government ministers said he should have declared his dual citizenship much earlier.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his Cabinet decided on Monday that all lawmakers should provide evidence to Parliament that they’re not dual citizens. Overseas-born lawmakers would provide records of how and when their foreign citizenship was renounced.
Australian-born lawmakers would have to state where and when their parents were born, details that could reveal an inherited second nationality.
“What we have seen is ... a legitimate concern that there is insufficient transparency about this matter,” Turnbull told reporters.
The government hopes that the Senate will endorse the new citizenship register when it sits next week and the House of Representatives, one of two chambers, when it meets two weeks later. Lawmakers would have to comply within three weeks.Speech