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Peter Bunting sworn in as senator; calls for constitutional reform

Peter Bunting
 
Peter Bunting was on Friday morning sworn in as the eighth Opposition member of the Senate. 
 
After taking the oath, Mr. Bunting commented on the controversy which delayed his swearing-in by two weeks.
 
Last week, Norman Horne admitted that he still held US citizenship, which makes him ineligible to serve as a senator.
 
Mr. Bunting, who is also Leader of Opposition Business in the Upper House, said the debacle served as a reminder of the need for constitutional reform. 
 
"Mr. President, given that constitutional officers and indeed investigative journalists had to grab the bull by the proverbial horn to enable the Senate to be fully constituted this morning, we are again reminded of the need to review our constitution to ensure that it evolves in the service of our people," he asserted.  
 
Mr. Bunting said the need for constitutional review was made even more evident with the Supreme Court's ruling in September that the detention of  five men under the states of emergency was unlawful and unconstitutional.
 
"As it currently stands today, the government has not appealed this decision, thus the findings of the court are unchallenged. I raise this case to highlight a collective failure on our part as legislators to recognise the defects in the law, but also a failure in repeatedly voting to extend the states of emergency when the situation did not qualify as such. The Oath of Allegiance obliged us to uphold and defend the constitution, not the expedient goals of an executive," the new Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate declared.


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