The Australian Parliament is under a break way as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as his own MPs decided not to support his administration any further. A clearer picture can only be ascertained after tomorrow, if Turnbull would actually leave office and if he does any leader will have the opportunity to contest for the byelections. However, he mentioned clearly that if he were to be at all ‘deposed’ than he would leave the Parliament. All this may seem very easy, but the MPs are held back by constitutional norms and guidelines. Peter Dutton, member of the Australian House of Representatives and the main man behind the rebellion against Turnbull.

The Parliament has been under chaos and questions of ‘eligibility’ were thrown at Peter Dutton if he were to contest. Turnbull requested the Solicitor-General to look into the records of Dutton especially his childcare interests and that his interests will have an impact. The Section 44 of the Australian Constitution mentions that any MP cannot have ‘pecuniary’ interests with the commonwealth, however, Dutton has come up with his own legal advisors who show that he is ‘eligible’ enough to sit in the Parliament. Turnbull who came to power by leading a coup against the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, he faced challenges and brunt of his own ministers, some of whom have already resigned. Although he had survived the challenge on Monday, the end of week paved a new challenge from Dutton.

The Liberal Party PM has declared that he wants a paper signed by 43 rebellions within his own party for the next challenge and he has put forward Julie Bishop, the Foreign Minister and Scott Morrison who would be presenting as challengers against Dutton. The agenda behind the ‘signatures’ would a way for the Solicitor-General to evaluate further Dutton’s eligibility. The campaigning strategies used by Turnbull to secure his position has been termed by his challenger as a “spurious and baseless campaign.”



*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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