This morning the ALP announced it would contest the election of Lucy Gichuhi to the Senate on the basis that she was a Kenyan dual citizen.
Didn’t take the court very long to deal with that:
In a High Court directions hearing this morning, Labor’s lawyers asked for more time to obtain evidence that Ms Gichuhi did not take reasonable steps to renounce her Kenyan citizenship before the July 2 election.
But Justice Jeffrey Nettle said there had been speculation since January that Ms Gichuhi would enter the Senate, giving ALP plenty of opportunity to investigate the matter.
He added that Attorney-General George Brandis had investigated Ms Gichuhi’s eligibility by March when he declared she was eligible.
“For those reasons the court is not (going to) grant more time,” Justice Nettle said.
In any event:
Simon Birmingham, a senior South Australian Liberal minister, … insisted both the Family First candidate and Kenyan high commission had been “fairly clear” she was not a dual citizen.
Prior to 2010 Kenya did not allow dual citizenship and automatically stripped citizenship from those individuals who applied for foreign citizenship. For (now) Senator Gichuhi to become a Kenyan citizen she would have to reapply. (Technically she didn’t need to renounce her citizenship – the state renounced her).
Given that the Australian constitution poses no impediment to black Africans being members of parliament, I’m just wondering if the ALP could specify exactly what these “legitimate questions to be answered” might be?