Deputy Prime Minister of Australia easily wins a crucial partial election triggered by a dual citizenship crisis threatening power control of the ruling coalition
Published 10:05 AM, December 03, 2017
Updated 10: 05, December 03, 2017
RE-ELECTED. In this file photo, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, pronounces a press conference in Sydney on July 5, 2016. William West / AFP [SydneyAustralia-ElviceprimerministrodeAustraliaganófácilmenteunaelecciónparcialcrucialdesencadenadaporundobleLareelecciónenfáticadeBarnabyJoyceenlaencuestadelsábado(2dediciembre)trajoalivioaungobiernoqueperdiósuescasamayoríaparlamentariasobrelasagadelaciudadaníayensuluchacontralacaídadelaciudadaníaapoyoelectoralydivisióninterna
"This has been a victory dazzling, "Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told his supporters Saturday night in Tamworth, a town in the rural seat of Joyce in the state of New South Wales
." Barnaby Joyce has been re-elected to New England with what seems to be the most important change for the government in the history of the by-elections in Australia. "
The recount was in progress, but Joyce had so far collected 64.6% of the vote went, with his closest rival David Ewings Labor with 11.3%.
Several members of the ruling Liberal-National coalition were removed from their seats after the Supreme Court reaffirmed in October a constitutional provision that prohibits dual citizens serving in the federal parliament.
In the Lower House of Representatives, where the coalition held a narrow majority of one seat, Joyce and former tennis star John Alexander had to re-examine their seats in by-elections.
The loss of Joyce and Alexander pending the -The election results cost the government a majority, although Turnbull said he could continue to govern with the support of independents.
Alexander, whose partial election is on December 16, could restore the coalition's majority with victory, but faces a tougher fight than Joyce for his seat in Bennelong in Sydney, where the main opposition Labor Party hopes to capitalize Turnbull's problems.
Turnbull voter support has eroded in recent months, and the liberal leader has to stop calling for his resignation, even from within the coalition.
Joyce, leader of the National Party, reaffirmed his support for Turnbull as prime minister on Thursday night, saying that Australia needed "someone who has the skills of this type here".
"Running a country is a bit harder than carrying the sheep through a door, "Joyce said while standing next to Turnbull.
" Some do not agree with him, leave that aside, ask a clear question: Who do I want to lead the country? Malcolm Turnbull or (labor leader) Bill Shorten? … I'm going with this one. "
Turnbull's headaches will continue next week, with a self-imposed deadline on December 5 for all parliamentarians to disclose their citizenship, a situation that could further destabilize their government.
The Dual Citizenship Rule it was originally inserted into the constitution to ensure parliamentarians were loyal only to Australia.
However, critics say it is out of step with the modern reality of the country, where half the population is foreign or is the daughter of immigrants. Rappler.com