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Principale » Australian senator resigns after learning she's also Canadian

Australian senator resigns after learning she's also Canadian

19 Juillet 2017

Larrisa Waters lived with her parents in Canada till she was 11 months old when they returned to their home country.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said in a statement on his Facebook page that Waters had made an "innocent mistake".

An Australian senator who grabbed headlines around the world after a picture of her appeared on social media in which she was seen breastfeeding her baby daughter at a Parliamentary session in May abruptly resigned from her office on Tuesday after it was found that she had held a dual citizenship in Australia and Canada.

Waters was born to Australian parents in 1977 while they were studying and working in Winnipeg.

"I have lived my life thinking that as a baby I was naturalized to be Australian and only Australian, and my parents told me that I had until age 21 to actively seek Canadian citizenship", said Waters. At 21, I chose not to seek dual citizenship, and I have never even visited Canada since leaving at 11 months old. Larrisa Waters said that discovering that she holds dual citizenship was a big surprise to her.

"I had not renounced since I was unaware that I was a dual citizen. Obviously this is something that I should have sought advice on when I first nominated for the Senate in 2007", said Waters in a statement. I am deeply sorry for the impact that it will have.

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Senator Waters became the second Greens senator in less than a week to step down because of the constitutional oversight, with Senator Ludlam stepping down on Friday after a decade in the red chamber, after discovering he was still a New Zealand citizen.

Waters made global headlines earlier this year when she became the first woman to breastfeed her daughter, Alia, on the floor of the Australian Parliament.

"It has been an honour to work with my Greens colleagues in the parliament and in the Queensland party", she said.

Australia's constitution states that a "citizen of a foreign power" is not eligible to be elected to Parliament.

Parliament has had some practice with section 44 resignations in the past few months, with One Nation's Rod Culleton and Family First Bob Day both losing their positions.

He also said the party would review its processes for how candidates are vetted to "to prevent this from happening again".

Australian senator resigns after learning she's also Canadian