The Australian High Court has cleared citizenship hurdles pitting the legitimacy of Lucy Gichuhi’s senate win.
The court confirmed the Kenyan-born lawyer’s citizenship, therefore, ending the debacle on the validity of her election.
Gichuhi was to replace Bob Day in the Senate but there were claims that she had dual citizenship.
The lawyer moved to Australia in 1999 and became the country’s citizen in 2001.
She is the first person of Kenyan descent to be elected to the Australian Federal Parliament.
ABC news on Wednesday reported that Labor’s acting shadow AG Katy Gallagher sought answers on Gichuhi’s eligibility.
“This is not about Gichuhi. It is about the integrity of the Senate and the electoral system,” Senator Gallagher said as reported by ABC.
Gallagher said it was important that the validity of each senator’s election is beyond question before they take office.
But the High Court rejected the push by lawyers for Labor’s Anne McEwen, who wanted to challenge Gichuhi’s eligibility.
According to Sky News media, Nettle refused the application saying issues about Gichuhi’s Kenyan citizenship had been referred to during court hearings over the last three months.
Commonwealth Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue said Kenyan law stated that a Kenyan’s citizenship was automatically withdrawn once a person was over 21 and had taken up citizenship in another country.
“On the material presently available it is difficult to see how there is an issue,” Donaghue said as reported by Sky News.
He further noted that the Kenyan High Commission provided a letter stating that Gichuhi was not regarded as a Kenyan citizen
On April 13, Gichuhi said she was honoured and grateful for the opportunity to serve Australia.
“I see it as an opportunity to give back to this great nation,” she said as reported by ABC news.
Gichuhi said she is “deeply respectful” of both the legal and electoral processes.