Court disqualifies Australia deputy PM over citizenship

Oct 27, 2017, 6:08 AM EDT
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (in the middle) renounced New Zealand citizenship in August.
(Source: Apple and Pear Australia/flickr)

The Australian government slid into a political crisis on Friday after the high court ruled Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians ineligible for the parliamentary office over their dual citizenships.

The verdict stripped the government of its one-seat majority in the parliament and forced a by-election in the New England, to be held on December 2, writes Reuters. Joyce, who gave up New Zealand citizenship in August, will re-contest his lower house seat.

After Joyce’s disqualification, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull now runs a minority government with 75 members in the 150-seat House of Representatives and needs backing from independent MPs and minor parties to get the legislations through, notes the BBC.