Australian minister resigns after discovering his mother applied for Italian dual-citizenship

Greens Senator Larissa Waters announced her resignation from the Senate last week as a result of her dual Australian Canadian citizenship

Greens Senator Larissa Waters announced her resignation from the Senate last week as a result of her dual Australian Canadian citizenship

Senator Canavan is standing down to clarify his citizenship status because his mother is Italian.

"I am a citizen of Italy".

"The Italian authorities have confirmed that the application for Italian citizenship was not signed by me".

Matthew Canavan has quit as Australia's Minister for Resources and Northern Australia in a row over dual citizenship - the country's third politician to do so in recent weeks.

He was told about his possible Italian citizenship by his mother following the resignations earlier this month of two MPs - both from the Greens party - who learnt that they were dual citizens and therefore ineligible to be parliamentarians.

Senator Canavan confirmed he was the holder of an Italian passport as a result of his mother lodging application documents without his knowledge in 2006.

He said he would not resign from Parliament because he had not yet been able to obtain definitive legal advice over whether his being granted Italian citizenship, without his signature, knowledge or consent, was valid under Italian law.

When Mr Ludlam resigned, claiming he had no idea he was a New Zealand citizen, the Prime Minister described it as a "remarkable oversight".

Scott Ludlam is still a NZ citizen. She announced on July 18 she would be resigning discovered she was a Canadian citizen.

Section 44 of the constitution holds that people who are citizens of other countries cannot be elected to parliament in Australia.

The three resignations are likely to put pressure on other Australian politicians who have been born overseas to provide proof of their renunciation.

"The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon".

Speaking beside Canavan in Brisbane, Australian attorney general George Brandis said the former minister's future would be decided in the courts.

"Nevertheless, in view of the legal uncertainty concerning the matter, when the Senate convenes on Tuesday week, the government will move to refer the matter for determination by the High Court", Brandis said.

The citizenship crisis is unlikely to affect the makeup of Australia's Senate however.

"It's not likely that the total number off Greens will change, just that we'll see people from their party replacing them", said Williams.

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