Carl Greenidge renounces UK citizenship

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge,

…expresses interest in APNU/AFC candidates’ list

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge has announced that his British citizenship has been officially renounced, paving the way for him to continue his political career in Guyana.

Greenidge was among four Government parliamentarians who had to resign from the National Assembly and as Ministers because of their dual citizenship status.

This came on the heels of court rulings earlier this year barring persons with dual citizenship from sitting in the National Assembly. Three Opposition Members of Parliament also had to give up their seats in the House.

Carl Greenidge

The issue of dual citizenship arose late last year when former coalition MP, Charrandas Persaud, who also held a second citizenship, crossed over and voted in favour of an Opposition-tabled No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the APNU/AFC Government, causing its defeat.

The validity of Persaud’s vote was challenged in the court by Government supporter, Compton Reid, and the High Court, whose ruling was subsequently upheld in the Appeal Court, found that while persons with dual citizenship cannot sit in the National Assembly, the former MP’s vote on the NCM was valid since he was a valid parliamentarian.

After stepping down as Foreign Affairs Minister in March, Greenidge was appointed Foreign Secretary at the Ministry.

On Saturday he announced that he received confirmation from the relevant British authorities that his application to renounce his British citizenship has been accepted.

“I have informed President Granger accordingly and, therefore, look forward to being included on the list of candidates from which the party will make its selection of MPs following the holding of the Regional and General Elections in 2020,” Greenidge said.

He explained that his UK citizenship and residence had enabled him to take advantage, largely free of cost to his parents, of wide-ranging educational opportunities which he would not have been in a position to access or finance had he remained in Guyana. He said he was subsequently able to gain invaluable employment and vocational experience in the employ of UK Government agencies before returning to Guyana to serve.

Along with Greenidge, former Minister of State Joseph Harmon, former Business Minister Dominic Gaskin and former Public Service Minister Rupert Roopnaraine also resigned.

With the exception of Gaskin, who is a born Briton, the others had indicated the intention to renounce their second citizenship. Harmon has a United States citizenship while Roopnaraine has a UK citizenship.

Meanwhile on the other side of the House, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, Adrian Anamayah and Odinga Lamumba also give up their parliamentary seats. However, Anamayah will not be renouncing his United States citizenship. The process was activated for Teixeira and Lamumba to give up their Canadian and US citizenships, respectively.