Govt dual citizens will return to National Assembly – Chief Whip

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Amna Ally

Dual citizenship parliamentarians on the government side will return to the National Assembly despite court rulings that such persons are disqualified from sitting in the House.

Government Chief Whip Amna Ally told Inews: ““I don’t know that there is a court action filed against anyone from attending … so all parliamentarians will be attending Parliament.”

Parliament is set to be reconvened at any moment following the ruling of the Appeal Court on Friday.

Already, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has made it known that it would not be attending sittings of the National Assembly, with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo announcing on Sunday that the Party would be sitting out sittings while the no-confidence cases still have to be settled.

Article 155 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana states that “No person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly who (a) is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state.”

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, in her rulings earlier this year, also made it clear that by swearing allegiance to another State, a dual citizen is not qualified to be elected to serve in the National Assembly.

In the Opposition camp, Chief Whip Gail Teixeira (who has Canadian citizenship) has already indicated her willingness to renounce her citizenship. And Jagdeo has publicly said that dual citizens from the Opposition camp would not return to Parliament.

In the case of the Government, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge (United Kingdom citizen) and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon (who has United States citizenship) have both failed to say if they would choose Parliament or dual citizenship when the time comes.

 

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