Second Australian senator forced to resign over dual citizenship violation

(CNN)Two Australian senators have resigned within the space of a week following revelations they violated a law that bans dual nationals from standing for election.

Larissa Waters, who represented Queensland and recently made headlines for becoming the first senator to breastfeed her child in Parliament, issued a tearful apology Tuesday.
“It’s with great sadness that I have discovered that I’m a dual citizen and I’ll be forced to stand down from my position in the Senate,” said Waters who holds both Australian and Canadian citizenship.
    Australia’s constitution bars anyone “who is under any acknowledgment of allegiance obedience or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power” from serving in Parliament.
    Waters was prompted to investigate her citizenship status after her fellow Greens party member, Scott Ludlam, announced he was resigning after learning he held dual New Zealand-Australian citizenship. His family left New Zealand when he was 3 years old and moved to Australia before he turned 9.
    “This was my error, and I should have checked,” Ludlam said in a statement Friday. “I am personally devastated to learn that an avoidable oversight a decade ago compels me to leave my colleagues, supporters and wonderful team.”
    Ludlam reacted to Waters’ reaction on Twitter, saying he was proud to have worked with her.
    The Greens held nine seats of the 76 in the Australian Senate and one of 150 in the Australian House of Representatives before the resignations.
    Richard Di Natale, the leader of The Greens, said he was “gutted” by Waters’ announcement and that Australia is worse off as a result of both resignations.
    The party will conduct a review following the incident, he said.

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