Sunday, 5 May 2019

Are ineligible candidates standing at the 18 May 2019 federal election?

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Disclaimer: The AEC has no power under the Electoral Act to make any determination in relation to the qualification checklist in a person’s nomination, except as to whether the person has answered every mandatory question, and provided additional documentation where required. The candidate must be satisfied that the additional documents support their contentions in the Qualification Checklist and that they are qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth to be elected as a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

The Guardian, 26 April 2019:

At least 19 United Australia party candidates have submitted incomplete or inconsistent information to the Australian Electoral Commission, failing to provide evidence they are eligible to run for parliament.

The candidates for Clive Palmer’s party have asserted they are not dual citizens disqualified by section 44 of the constitution, but have mostly failed to provide birth details of their parents or grandparents, even in cases where candidates admit parents or grandparents were born overseas.

In one case the UAP candidate for Blaxland, Nadeem Ashraf, claimed in a statutory declaration that he lost dual Pakistani citizenship automatically when he became Australian in 1986. Even when taking up another citizenship Pakistani law requires a declaration of renunciation, which Ashraf failed to provide.

A spokesman for the United Australia party told Guardian Australia “all [candidates] are eligible and compliant under s44”, but failed to explain why they had not completed the checklist.

A spokesman for the AEC said it had no “power to reject a fully completed candidate nomination for the Senate or the House of Representatives, regardless of whether any answer to a question of the qualification checklist is incorrect, false or inadequate”.

At least 16 UAP candidates stated that they were born in Australia, declared they had parents or grandparents born in another country but then failed to provide details.

These include Matthew Sirianni-Duffy in Aston, Wayne Connolly in Goldstein, Lisa Bentley in Gellibrand, Ron Jean in Dunkley, George Zoraya in Chisholm, Adam Veitch in Bendigo, Neil Harvey in Corangamite, Lynda Abdo in Hume, Colin Thompson in Dawson, Christian Julius in Griffith, Kenneth Law in Groom, Jatinder Singh in Holt, Shane Wheatland in Indi, Tony Seals in Isaacs, Md Sarwar Hasan in Maribyrnong, Tony Pecora in Melbourne, Adam Holt in Sydney and Yohan Batzke, a Queensland Senate candidate.

The 45th parliament was rocked by 14 MPs or senators resigning or being ruled ineligible due to dual citizenship, many of them triggered by citizenship by descent from parents or grandparents born in the United Kingdom or New Zealand…..

The joint standing committee on electoral matters has warned that the presence of ineligible candidates on the ballot creates potential that “a successful candidate could have their election challenged on the basis of preference flows from an ineligible candidate”.

UAP is not alone in having candidates who did not fully compete their nomination forms. It would appear that a number of candidates from more than one political party have also submitted forms unaccompanied by required documentation.

Voters can check the nomination forms of candidates standing in their electorate at

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