October 27, 2017 / 3:33 AM / in a year

Australian court rules deputy PM ineligible for parliament, government loses majority

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s High Court ruled on Friday that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ineligible to remain in parliament, a decision that has cost the coalition government its one-seat parliamentary majority.

FILE PHOTO - Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce reacts as he sits in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, October 25, 2017. AAP/Mick Tsikas/via REUTERS

Joyce was one of seven politicians whose eligibility to sit in parliament was thrown into doubt when it was found they were dual citizens, which bars them from being elected to the national parliament under Australia’s constitution.

The court ordered that a by-election must be held for Joyce’s electorate. The Australian dollar fell a quarter of a U.S. cent after the court announced its decision.

Reporting By Colin Packham; Writing by Jane Wardell; Editing by Paul Tait

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