The Australian high court has validated the citizenship of Kenyan-born lawyer Lucy Gichuhi, who was elected as senator of Australian Federal Parliament.
Justice Jeffrey Nettle rejected a bid by the Australian Labour Party (ALP) to be given more time to gather evidence to challenge her election saying there had been speculation since January that Ms Gichuhi would enter the Senate, giving ALP plenty of opportunity to investigate the matter adding that the Attorney-General George Brandis had investigated Ms Gichuhi’s eligibility by March when he declared she was eligible.
The ruling brings to an end the citizenship hurdle that had challenged the validity of her election on grounds that she had dual citizenship.
A person with dual citizenship cannot be elected to the Australian parliament under the Constitution.
Lucy Gichuhi, a lawyer, will replace Bob Day in the Senate. Gichuhi migrated to Australia in 1999 before and became a citizen there in 2001. She has made history for becoming first African Senator in Australia.
“I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity to serve Australia. I see it as an opportunity to give back to this great nation,” Gichuhi is quoted by ABC news.
Gichuhi said she is “deeply respectful” of both the legal and electoral processes.
“I am an Australian citizen and I am eligible to serve. I will continue to take advice on all of these matters as we move forward,” she said.