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5 Australian Lawmakers Leave Parliament Over Dual Citizenship Status

Independent Australian lawmaker Rebekha Sharkie, second left, announces her resignation to reporters at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Five Australian lawmakers are the latest to be forced out of office due to a provision in Australia's 117-year old constitution banning dual citizens from sitting in parliament.

The High Court ruled Wednesday that Labor Party Senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible because she had not renounced her British citizenship prior to her election in 2016. The ruling prompted four lawmakers in the lower House of Representatives, including three members of the Labor Party and an independent, to resign due to similar circumstances.

The resignations have triggered special elections that could help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's ruling conservative Liberal-National coalition increase its slim one-seat majority in the House. Senator Gallagher's seat will automatically be filled by another Labor Party candidate.

Several Australian lawmakers have been forced from office since the High Court upheld the constitutional ban on dual nationals sitting in Parliament in a ruling last October.