Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond says she sits in the National Assembly as a “legal representative.” The Minister’s statement comes on the heels of an application filed in the High Court by the main Opposition to have her removed from the National Assembly.
Minister Walrond, responding to questions on the side-lines of an event at the Guyana Marriott Hotel on Friday, rebuffed the Opposition’s attacks. The Minister maintains that she has done nothing illegal and will deal with the matter in the court.
“The attempt to besmirch my character has not gone unnoticed by the public. I am convinced that I have full legal rights to sit in the National Assembly and that I have done nothing illegal and I continue to sit in the National Assembly as a legal representative,” she said.
The Opposition is arguing that when Minister Walrond took the Oath of Office and attended the National Assembly on September 1, she was still a citizen of the United States. However, the Minister said that argument is baseless.
“My position has been the act of renunciation is a unilateral act that when a citizen has done the legal standard, when a citizen has done all that is within her power to renounce, which is what I did on (August) 18, paying a substantial amount of fees which is over $500,000 on August 27, I did all of this before I swore in… The fact that I received my certificate two days after swearing in, in my opinion, cannot support the argument that I was there illegally,” Minister Walrond explained.
The Minister, who is also an attorney, reiterated that the law states that “the citizen ought to have done all that was in her power to renounce, which is what I did by indicating to the Counsellor on August 18. I was informed that there was an administrative procedure that I had to follow in order to receive my certificate, which is what I received on the September 4.”
Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Sherlock Isaacs earlier this month said Minister Walrond lost her US Citizenship upon taking the Oath of Renunciation.