Shuman, others banned from contesting elections over dual citizenship

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Tuesday made a decision to bar three presidential candidates from contesting the upcoming elections, owing to their dual citizenship status.

These are presidential candidates of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman, and United Republic Party (URP), Dr Vishnu Bandhu, and Dr Valerie Leung of the People’s Republican Party (PRP).

These individuals would have signed statutory declaration forms indicating that they meet the criteria to become a Member of Parliament (MP), when in fact, they were still dual citizens.

Because when they put their names there they were all dual citizens. Whatever happens after…some correction will be made to that,” Commissioner Bibi Shaddick explained.

Article 155 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana states: “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.”

Section four of the Statutory Declaration Act, Chapter 5:09 states that “Everyone who makes a declaration according to this Act containing any statement false in fact, which he knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.”