The court deciding in the issue says that his mother was Hungarian when she arrived in Australia while Josh Frydenberg’s lawyers claim that she was stateless then. Dual citizens cannot be MPs or members of the parliament in the country.
Josh Frydenberg has been the treasurer (finance minister) of Australia since August 2018, and he is a member of the country’s parliament. Now he is facing a challenge because one of his constituents argues that because of his mother he is entitled to Hungarian citizenship and thus, he is not eligible for a parliament seat or the membership of the parliament – The Guardian reported.
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Kooyong resident Michael Staindl’s barrister, Angel Aleksov, told the court that Frydenberg knew his mother was born in Hungary. He added that “there is a significant public interest in a person sitting in parliament without an allegiance to a foreign power.” Mr Frydenberg’s lawyers claim that his mother, Erica Strauss, lost her Hungarian citizenship when she left Hungary, so she arrived as a stateless person to Australia in 1949. Mrs Strauss was born in Budapest in 1943, but her family fled the country when she was 6 because of the unfolding communist dictatorship. When they arrived at Fremantle in Western Australia, they said that they were stateless.
Mr Frydenberg even asked the Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán to verify that he does not have Hungarian citizenship. Even though the certificate arrived saying that the Australian treasurer’s Hungarian citizenship was never established Mr Staindl says that Mrs Strauss passed on the Hungarian citizenship to her son, making him ineligible to stand for re-election in 2019. His lawyer said to the court that “the evidence shows that the respondent’s mother bore the status of a citizen of Hungary.”
This is not the first time that citizenship causes problems for an Australian politician. According to The Guardian, “in 2017, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, deputy Nationals leader Senator Fiona Nash, former Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters and One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts were found by the high court to be subject or citizens of a foreign power when they nominated for the previous year’s federal election.”
Three judges oversee the case and they will decide later.
Source: The Guardian