Election candidate falls foul of section 44

In the previous issue of Newsmonth, we introduced you to Peter Tsambalas, IEU rep and the ALP’s candidate for the southern Sydney seat of Hughes in the federal election.

Due to section 44 of the Australian Constitution, which spells out who is eligible to run for Parliament, Peter has been forced to withdraw his candidacy.

Despite being born in Australia and having Australian citizenship, Peter acquired dual citizenship via his migrant parents.

This is sufficient to trigger section 44 of the Constitution, which says a person is ineligible to run for federal parliament if they are “under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power”.

Peter told The Guardian on 7 April: “My team and I put every effort into resolving the citizenship question but it is clear we will not get there in time.

“I want to thank all those who have supported me to this point. We spent several months working hard on the campaign and I believe I would have taken the fight up well in Hughes.

“However, I now look forward to giving whatever assistance I can to the successful Labor candidate in this important election.”