On Wednesday, May 9 this year, Pickering Post said it appeared chronologically impossible for Labor Member, Mrs Azza (Anne) Mahmoud Fawzi Aly to have met the conditions of sole Australian citizenship as defined by the High Court. Bill Shorten assured us she and all other Labor Members had.
Within 48 hours on May 11, "The Australian" front-paged an article saying they also had doubts about her eligibility to sit in the House as the most recent High Court decision made it clear both sides of Parliament and their highly-paid legal advisers' interpretation of "best endeavours" was neither the measure nor the fix.
If would-be MPs were dual citizens on the day they signed their electoral nomination forms, it was game over and out!
Sob stories and excuses pertaining to descent were also ruled out.
Labor's Emma Husar has now taken leave from her seat of Lindsay amid claims of fraudulent behaviour. Below is her fatuous statement to Members' Interests Register:
House of Representatives
05 DEC 2017
To the Registrar of Members' Interests,
Statement in relation to citizenship – 45th Parliament
I declare that at the time I nominated for election in this 45th Parliament I was an Australian citizen.
(Hmmm, maybe she is also being advised by Mark Dreyfus.)
Labor’s embattled Ms Husar (above left) Polish by descent, also appears to be in the same boat as Mrs Anne Aly. Polish citizenship law is even more circuitous than Egypt's.
Ms McBride (above right) posted an insufficient "Declaration of Alienage" form renouncing her Irish citizenship just days before close of nominations for the 2013 elections.
Penny Wong has still not laid bare her Malaysian connection.
So we shot off an FOI request to the Australian Electoral Commission in relation to Anne Aly and Penny Wong. Now the AEC is supposed to supply FOI requests within 30 working days and acknowledge any request immediately. They did the latter.
Almost two months later and after numerous emails back and forth we belatedly received a confirmation Aly had signed and dated her electoral nomination form on May 17, 2016, just 11 days after she requested to be renounced as an Egyptian citizen.
Curiously, Aly made two separate statements in the newly introduced House of Representatives citizenship register on December 4, 2017 as follows:
1. On May 4, 2016, I "completed a declaration of renunciation of Egyptian citizenship to the Egyptian Government.
2. "I received confirmation of my renunciation from the Egyptian Embassy" (undated, cunningly deceptive and patently untrue)
Critically Aly didn't, and still hasn't, attached these invisible, potentially career-saving, confirmation letters to and from from the Egyptian Government. Nor the renunciation form she also refers to.
What is attached to the register is a redundant letter she received on July 31, 2017, almost two months later… six weeks AFTER she signed her nomination form and 29 days AFTER the election itself.
EMBASSY OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
Canberra 31st July 2017
To Whom It May Concern
This is to certify that Mrs Azza Mahmoud Fawzi Aly, date of birth 29 March 1967 has applied for obtaining Australian Nationality and relinquish her Egyptian Nationality.
This request was presented by Mrs Aly on the 4th of May 2016.
It is from the local Egyptian Embassy in Canberra (above) simply stating she had "applied to relinquish her Egyptian nationality" on May 4, 2016.
Well, I’m afraid that is NOT what the High Court wants to see. It is also NOT what the Egyptian Government wants to see either.
The Egyptian Immigration Dept clearly states it requires 6-8 weeks to process these citizenship renunciation applications, during which time it can seek public objections to a renunciation request from any citizen.
IF there are no objections and IF everything else pans out, the Egyptian Government might ask for further information from Ms Aly and, IF satisfied, might supply her with notification that her citizenship has been revoked. This was not possible within the time frame.
No such official Egyptian Government renunciation notification exists yet, if we are to believe Aly's second statement in her official citizenship register, it does exist!
Where is it? Did Anne's dog eat it?
A frantic trip around the corner to the Egyptian Embassy on the very the morning "The Australian" broke the story to non-Pickering Post followers she found a diplomatic friend happy to confirm HER OWN notification of renunciation on May 6, 2016, via an "undated statement" inaccurately suggesting that the day a renunciation request is received, the Egyptian Government in Egypt agrees it's all done and dusted.
Anne Aly with controversial friend
The media, barring "The Australian", swallowed it hook line and sinker. The fact is it is useless in High Court terms. Shorten knows that, Turnbull knows that and I suspect the entire Parliament knows that. But it remains a Parliamentary and media non-event.
The only plausible explanation for this stonewalling from the AEC is that Turnbull has done yet another deal with Shorten to nip this dual citizenship thing in the bud. Neither wanted it to be an issue in this Saturday’s by-elections.
Certainly Shorten (above) could ill-afford an extension to the controversy over his remarks that all his Labor Members had water-tight sole Australian citizenships, and Turnbull knows he himself has a few more dodgy nominations in his ranks.
According to the Egyptian Government website,“Voluntary renunciation of Egyptian citizenship is allowed, provided the person obtains prior authorization through a Presidential Decree.”
No such letter of confirmation nor presidential decree existed at the date Aly signed her electoral nomination form on May 17, 2016. If it existed then she would have made it available and attached it to the register. Nor was there time to have had her Egyptian citizenship revoked. It is doubtful that it exists even now!
Did Mrs Aly utilise taqiyya (Muslim permission to lie) on the citizenship registry when she said she had "received confirmation of her renunciation from the Egyptian Government"? It seems so.
If such confirmation existed she would surely have supplied it to the media when this story broke and certainly wouldn't have had to run around at the last minute to get a meaningless undated statement from the local Canberra Embassy to hold up to viewers of Sky News later that day!
Australia's first female Muslim MP assures us that everything is above board
This Egyptian renunciation process costs $US800. Even a receipt, if available, would have been helpful but a visit to her "friend" at the Canberra Embassy who agreed to confirm that she had renounced her citizenship all by her little self would never hold water in the High Court and both parties know it.
Even Labor's top legal dunce and aspiring Attorney General Mark Dreyfus knows it.
It's a testament to the quality of our Parliamentarians that only the odd honest Members resigned and agreed to face the electors once again. All the rest were dragged kicking and screaming to a by-election or were content to simply lie, like Anne Aly has.
The only thing we have gleaned of any substance last night from the FOI request forwarded to the AEC is Anne Aly's name,
…but we already knew her name.