Kenyan-born lawyer elected to Australia’s Senate as High Court reviews her citizenship


Kenyan-born lawyer Lucy Gichuhi has become the first person of African descent to be elected to Australia’s federal parliament.

Ms Gichuhi was elected to fill the seat left vacant by her fellow Family First candidate Bob Day after the High Court ruled that he was ineligible.

She was confirmed to the Senate seat after a special recount by the Australian Electoral Commission on Thursday.

The High Court will next week make the final determination on Ms Gichuhi being Mr Day’s replacement.

The Court is now set to officially confirm the result of the recount as it also considers questions raised about her citizenship.

Gichihi migrated to Australia in 1999 and became an Australian citizen in 2001.

“I do not intend on commenting on the processes that have brought us to this point,” Mrs Gichuhi said. ” As a lawyer, I am deeply respectful of both the legal and electoral processes.”

The matter of his eligibility was referred to the court after it became clear that he had an indirect interest in the lease of his Adelaide electorate office by the commonwealth. This resulted in Day being in breach of section 44 of the constitution.

According to a majority of the courts judges, Day became ineligible on 26 February 2016, when Fullarton Investments directed the commonwealth to pay rent to a bank account owned by Day.

All votes cast by Day when he was serving in the Senate are still valid and the ruling down not invalidate them.