2nd Aussie Senator Quits for Being 'Citizen of Foreign Power'

Larissa Waters was never legally elected due to her dual citizenship with Canada
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2017 8:58 AM CDT
2nd Aussie Senator Quits for Being 'Citizen of Foreign Power'
Sen. Larissa Waters, left, addresses a press conference as Greens Party Councilor Jonathan Sri watches in Brisbane, Australia, on Tuesday.   (AuBC via AP)

A second Australian senator in less than a week has announced she's quitting Parliament after discovering she's a dual national and had therefore never really been elected. Larissa Waters, co-deputy leader of the minor Greens party, said Tuesday that she's quitting after six years as a senator after the Canadian High Commission in Canberra told her that she's Canadian, the AP reports. The Guardian notes that Waters, who said she was filled with "shock and sadness" over the news, was "visibly emotional" when she offered her apologies for not carrying out extensive-enough checks on her own background before running for office. "I had not renounced since I was unaware that I was a dual citizen," she said. "I take full responsibility for this grave mistake and oversight."

On Friday, the Greens' other co-deputy, Scott Ludlam, revealed that he was a citizen of New Zealand as well as Australia—he moved to Australia when he was 3—which made him ineligible for the Senate job he's held since July 2008. "It wasn't the way I was hoping to go out," he told reporters, per the Guardian. "There is an enormous amount of work left undone." Australia's constitution states a "citizen of a foreign power" is not eligible to be elected to Parliament. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale says the party will tighten procedures to prevent ineligible candidates from running in future elections. (More Australia stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.