GREENS Senator Scott Ludlam is leaving federal parliament after finding out he was improperly elected more than a decade ago.
The party’s co-deputy leader said it was recently brought to his attention that he holds dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand.
Under section 44 of the constitution, that makes him ineligible to hold elected office.
Senator Ludlam labelled it a “ridiculous oversight”.
“I apologise unreservedly for this mistake,” he said in a statement on Friday. “This was my error, something I should have checked when I first nominated for preselection in 2006.” Instead of going through protracted legal proceedings, he is resigning as a senator for Western Australia and co-deputy leader of the Australian Greens. Senator Ludlam was born in Palmerston North in New Zealand and left the country with his family when he was three.
He settled in Australia not long before his ninth birthday, before being naturalised when he was in his mid-teens.
“(I) assumed that was the end of my New Zealand citizenship.”
Wow that is a huge oversight.
At least he did the right thing by immediately resigning. In New Zealand when a similiar thing happened (A Labour Minister Harry Duynhoven applied for and got dual citizenship with Netherlands while an MP) Labour, NZ First and Greens voted to retrospectively amend the Electoral Act to keep him in Parliament. It was I think the worst constitutional abuse of modern times – if any Act should not be retrospectively amended it is the Electoral Act.