Australian Senator Found Ineligible..9 Years Later

For the past nine years, Scott Ludlam has been working as a senator in Australia. He's won three parliamentary elections and is the deputy leader of the minor Greens party. As it turns out, he never should've run in the first place. 

Ludlam was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and moved to Perth, Australia, when was three-years-old. Accrording to the Australian constitution, a "citizen of a foreign power" is not eligible to be elected to the Australian Parliament. He became an Australian citizen when he was a teenager, but in the end, that doesn't matter.

So why didn't Ludlam think about this before? He claims he hadn't realized that New Zealand citizenship "might be something that sticks to you in that way." He's leaving office and says he's "personally devastated." He might be financially devastated, too. The government could force Ludlam to repay millions of dollars in salary and expenses that he's claimed since 2008. There is a silver lining, though. As Ludlam jokes, "I can at least vote in the New Zealand elections in September."

Source: Associated Press

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