Malcolm Turnbull has claimed that he is now happy that no more Coalition MP’s will fall victim to the dual citizenship drama that has unveiled over the past months in parliament. Federal Politicians are set to public unveil their citizenship documents this week as part of Prime Minister Turnbull’s ‘disclosure regime’ designed to restore public faith in the system and their representatives.
Members of the Senate had their documents revealed today at midday whilst MP’s in the lower house will have their documents revealed later in the week.
There is concern that revealing all MP’s citizenship documents could result in even more resignations in what is already an unstable government. The dual citizenship scandal has already claimed 7 senators and 2 MP’s of the lower house.
With byelections already set for the seats of Bennelong and New England, any more could potentially threaten the balance of power within parliament.
However, Turnbull is confident that the members of the Coalition are now in the clear. Mr Turnbull believes that the members of his party have all detailed their current citizenship circumstance and there are no issues. He did, however, continue to say that there are a number of Labor members “which should be referred to the High Court”.
Turnbull is keen to use his power in parliament to ensure that any Labor members under even slight suspicion are referred to the High Court. This is likely to be in reference to two specific Labor MP’s Justine Keay and Susan Lamb both of who entered parliament before the official process of renouncing their British citizenships had been finialised.
He continued to say that the process would be an “acid test” of Bill Shorten’s integrity as to whether he would oppose or cooperate any ensuing Labor referrals.
Following the byelection for the seat of New England on Saturday, Barnaby Joyce has successfully returned to parliament and restated his desire for a referendum. Joyce has suggested a model that allows members with dual citizenship to sit in parliament as long as they haven’t actively applied for a second citizenship. The new Senator has described the current situation as “absurd”.
The prime Minister does not believe that Joyce’s proposal of a referendum will result in any change, requiring a majority vote in the majority of states. There is set to be an inquiry into Section 44 by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters before the new year.