Following Acting Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, landmark ruling on Thursday that a person holding dual citizenship cannot be a Member of Guyana’s Parliament, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said that PPP/C MP Gail Teixeira, is prepared to renounce her Canadian Citizenship.
Jagdeo made the revelation during his weekly press conference today (Friday) at the party’s headquarters at Freedom House.
According to the party’s General Secretary, the National Assembly is clear that a MP having dual citizenship will have implications and as such, he revealed Teixeria’s decision.
“She is prepared to give up her Canadian citizenship, I spoke to members on my side about it…she said so voluntarily, I know that she has been thinking about it for a while and I didn’t call her to ask her if she will, I spoke with her and she said that,” Jagdeo revealed.
Further, Jagdeo noted that the APNU/AFC Coalition Government presently have several Ministers who also hold dual citizenship; including Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.
“Harmon now may no longer be a Minister by virtue of the constitution, he has to resign because of the ruling and the same goes for Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs…this puts us in new territory. I have no doubt that the Government will try to appeal this and CJ will uphold ruling…the ruling is clear, you cannot be a dual citizen in the National Assembly…that’s what our constitutions says” Jagdeo recognized.
He noted however that the PPP/C will be holding an executive meeting later on Friday where they will discuss a way forward and whether the law could be amended…“All of this will come out of a process for constitutional reform”.
Justice George at the High Court on Thursday pronounced on the case filed by Compton Reid over the dual citizenship of former AFC Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud, whose vote in support of the Opposition sponsored no confidence motion on December 21 saw the toppling of the Coalition government.
According to the CJ, by swearing allegiance to another state, a dual citizen is not qualified to be elected to serve in the National Assembly.