By AUDREY YOUNG political editor

A move by the Government to "re-elect" New Plymouth Labour MP Harry Duynhoven through a special law this week will be opposed by at least National and Act on the grounds that exceptions should not be made for MPs.

But the Government will have the numbers to retrospectively validate Mr Duynhoven's seat in the House, with the likely support of at least the Greens and New Zealand First.

By reclaiming his Dutch citizenship recently, Mr Duynhoven appears to have breached the Electoral Act 1993.

The act deems a seat to be vacant if its MP "does or concurs in or adopts any act whereby he or she may become a subject or citizen of any foreign state or power, or entitled to the rights, privileges, or immunities of a subject or citizen of any foreign state or power".

Act leader Richard Prebble said: "It is hard to see how Parliament could decide to pass a special law to give one Labour MP a special privilege not available to all other citizens."

But Greens co-leader Rod Donald said other parties "should reflect the good luck of some of their members rather than trying to make capital out of Harry's situation".

The position of United Future is not known but the election of its list candidate Kelly Chal last year was later declared invalid when she did not meet citizenship requirements.

She said last night that she had heard many people speculating that the Government would not have passed a special law for a member of another party.

Speaker Jonathan Hunt, who is responsible for declaring seats vacant, decided to send the Duynhoven matter to the privileges committee for consideration and it has likely sought Crown Law advice.

The committee is scheduled to meet again tomorrow and on Wednesday to finalise the report. But few doubt it will find that a prime facie breach has occurred.

A special law is expected to be introduced this week which will have the effect of re-electing Mr Duynhoven to Parliament.

The alternative to a special law for Mr Duynhoven is a byelection. He attracted 69.7 per cent of the electorate vote in New Plymouth (Labour's party vote was 41.58) and he holds the largest majority, with 14,930 votes.

Mr Duynhoven is Associate Minister for Energy and Associate Minister of Transport with responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority.