Golding moves to oust MPs over dual citizenship

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Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is moving to have Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Sharon Hay-Webster and other members of the People’s National Party (PNP) disqualified from sitting in the House of Representatives.

“We have evidence that the question of foreign citizenship is not confined to the government’s side.We have given instructions to our lawyer to file constitutional motions seeking a declaration based on the same principle that was established in the Daryl Vaz case,” Golding told journalists yesterday.

The prime minister was speaking to reporters shortly after he observed his JLP colleague Gregory Mair being nominated to contest the June 16 by-election in North East St Catherine.

Mair, who will compete against the PNP’s Granville Valentine, was disqualified from sitting in the House of Representatives after he was found to have been in breach of the Constitution, having pledged allegiance to a foreign power on his own act.

Mair has since renounced his Venezuelan citizenship in order to contest the by-election.

Yesterday, Golding told journalists that his party was moving to remove all PNP MPs who were in breach of the provisions of the Constitution.

“There are other persons who also have to be held accountable,” Golding said.

But Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller told journalists yesterday that the PNP “will file motions against the JLP representatives who are sitting in Parliament that we did not file for. So if they file, then we can file as well,” Simpson Miller said.

She added: “On our side, if anything is wrong, it is wrong and we will deal with the wrong,” Simpson Miller said, while noting that Hay-Webster was “misadvised” about her eligibility to be a Parliamentarian.

Hay-Webster was born in the United States but by her admission has travelled on her US passport, an act which court precedence suggests is an act of a pledge of allegiance/obedience to a foreign power.

Golding, while refusing to name the persons the JLP would be going after in the Parliament, said there were several opposition MPs in breach and that some of the cases were harder than others to prove.

He said the party’s lawyers had been asked to give guidance on how to proceed with opposition MPs who have permanent residency status in the United States.

Pointing to Section 39 of the Constitution which says that in order for a person to be qualified to sit in Parliament they must be ordinarily resident in Jamaica for 12 months preceding Nomination Day, Golding has left no doubt that he believes holders of US green cards must also be flushed from the Parliament.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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