Australia Senate Prez resigns after finding he is UK citizen

Australia Senate Prez resigns after finding he is UK citizen

Liberal Stephen Parry to resign over dual British citizenship

The president of the Senate, Liberal Stephen Parry, has announced he will resign from parliament after being told by UK authorities that he holds British citizenship.

Parry announced on Tuesday that he believed his father’s British birth may have put him in the same position as Coalition colleagues Fiona Nash and Barnaby Joyce, who were ousted from the parliament over their dual citizenship.

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On Wednesday afternoon Parry said it was with a “heavy heart” he has been informed he is a dual citizen through descent and used his statement to thank colleagues and constituents for the past six-and-a-half years he sat in the Senate.

He will formally resign on Thursday.

With Parry’s resignation – which he garnished with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, writing, “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me” – 10% of the Senate has been made to resign for section 44 concerns since the July election.

Parry’s vacancy is likely to be filled by the former tourism minister Richard Colbeck, who lost his Senate seat in a factional war with Eric Abetz before the last election, which ended with Colbeck relegated to fifth on the Tasmanian Senate ticket. There are some questions over whether Colbeck’s subsequent work, including sitting on a Tasmanian government working group, could be considered vulnerable to challenge under the part of section 44 that prohibits indirect profit from an office of the crown. However, earlier this week, Liberals appeared confident Colbeck would be able to take up the position.

Parry’s decisions as president of the Senate are not believed to be under examination. While the president does have some executive functions, similar to the Speaker position in the lower house, the decisions are made by the Senate chamber itself.

The governor general can accept resignations from senators, if the president is not available, under the constitution.

Read More @ theguardian

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