Canberra, Oct 27: An Australian court on Friday said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four other were wrongly elevated to the post because they held dual citizenship, the media reported.
The High Court of Australia’s verdict means Joyce, Nationals leader Fiona Nash and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts were disqualified from office, the BBC reported.
In July, the Greens Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam had already resigned from the Senate.
According to the Australian constitution people having dual citizenship can’t be elected for the country’s top post.
Joyce’s exit strips the government of its one-seat majority, but he might return through a by-election.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who renounced New Zealand citizenship in August, has vowed to re-contest his lower house seat.
“I respect the verdict of the court,” the BBC quoted Joyce as saying immediately after the judgement.
“We live in a marvellous democracy, with all the checks and balances they have given us all the freedoms we see. I thank the court (for) their deliberations.”
Another two political leaders under scrutiny, senators Matt Canavan and Nick Xenophon, were ruled to have been validly elected.
The dual citizenship saga has captivated Australian politics since July, prompting dozens of lawmakers to clarify their status publicly.