Greens MP Lee Rhiannon will quit federal parliament and make way for Australia’s first Muslim senator.
The 66-year-old left-wing firebrand will finish up her seven-year career as a New South Wales senator in mid-August and make way for Pakistan-born state upper house member Mehreen Faruqi.
Senator Rhiannon, whose parents were Communist Party of Australia members, released a statement on Friday morning.
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon will quit federal parliament and make way for Australia’s first Muslim senator
‘I remain passionate and as committed as ever to our collective struggle for a fair, just, ecologically-sustainable and peaceful world,’ she said.
Her replacement, who last year beat her in a Greens preselection battle for the top spot on the party’s NSW Senate ticket, renounced her dual Pakistani citizenship in August.
‘In case any one is wondering, I have applied to the Pakistan government to renounce my dual citizenship and I am assured the process will be completed well before the federal election,’ Ms Faruqi told her Facebook followers last year.
The 66-year-old left-wing firebrand will finish up her seven-year career as a NSWsenator in mid-August and make way for Pakistan-born state upper house member Mehreen Faruqi
Until August 2017, Ms Faruqi had not renounced her dual citizenship despite moving to Australia from Pakistan in 1992 and becoming a member of the NSW Legislative Council in June 2013.
She is also the mother of new ABC website journalist Osman Faruqi, who is suing former Labor leader Mark Latham for his commentary about his alleged ‘anti-white’ tweets to controversial Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
A year ago Ms Faruqi, a former civil engineer, told a NSW parliamentary inquiry she was proud to be in an arranged marriage.
Until August 2017, Ms Faruqi had not renounced her dual citizenship despite moving to Australia in 1992 and becoming a member of the NSW Legislative Council in June 2013
‘Mine was an arranged marriage, it wasn’t a forced marriage at all. I just want to clarify that,’ she said.
Senator Rhiannon, who clashed openly with Greens leaders, including Richard Di Natale and Bob Brown, described herself as an ‘accidental politician’.
‘When I was young, parliament was where we went to protest not to get a job,’ she said.
‘My years as an MP have strengthened my belief that it is community action that drives progressive social change.’
She described her passions as ‘re-nationalising public services, Palestinian self-determination, union rights, climate action, free public education and animal rights’.