Australia's current Deputy PM and then-Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce at Parliament House on June 1, 2015 in Canberra, Australia.

Stefan Postles | Getty Images

Australia’s current Deputy PM and then-Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce at Parliament House on June 1, 2015 in Canberra, Australia.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Monday he may not be eligible for
parliament after being told he may be a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, potentially posing a threat to the conservative government’s hold on power.

Australian politicians are not eligible to be elected to parliament if they hold dual or plural

citizenship, a rule that has forced the resignation of two senators in recent weeks.

Joyce is the leader of the rural-based National party, the junior partner in the centre-right Liberal-National coalition government that has just a single seat majority in parliament.

The government’s majority would be eliminated if Joyce was forced from office, likely triggering an election, political analysts said.

Joyce, who was born in Australia, said he was told by New Zealand officials last week that he may be a citizen by descent.

His mother was Australian and his father was born in New Zealand and came to Australia in 1947 as a British subject.

“Neither I nor my parents have ever had any reason to believe that I may be a citizen of any other country,” he said.

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