…dual citizens’ law?
AFC leader Raphael Trotman announced that our Constitution is doing a “disservice” to Guyana by barring dual citizens from serving as MPs and ministers. So what he wants is an amendment to change Art 155 (1), which announces: “No person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly who- (a) is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience and adherence to a foreign power of state.”
So how is this stipulation a “disservice” to Guyana?? Well Trotman says our nation has suffered a “brain drain” over the past decades, and we need those Guyanese — who’ve picked up all sorts of skills abroad — in our Government. Now, while there’s no question this Government needs skills to push our development plans, Trotman has missed the point why that Article was placed in the Constitution in the first place. It was there from the very beginning in 1966, when we were given our Independence Constitution – just like most other countries that received their independence from Britain. Like Australia and Jamaica, which also invoked the clause recently to throw out dual citizens from their Parliament.
Point is, MPs and ministers are part of the GOVERNMENT – the legislature and executive respectively – and their powers to shape policy for the nation are very great. Accordingly, the British knew that persons filling these roles must be totally committed to the nation; there has to be that spirit of patriotism to do whatever it takes to push our interests ahead of any foreign power’s. And imagine, the British did this when they would’ve wanted any number of fifth columnists to further whatever designs they might’ve had in Guyana.
In this day of modern imperialism under the rubric of “globalisation”, how can we have individuals crafting (MPs) and executing (ministers) policies when they’ve sworn allegiance to another power?? If the interests of Guyana were important enough to them, then why don’t returning dual citizens renounce their second citizenship BEFORE running for office? Which is what most of those presently disqualified have done.
What does it say of their nationalism and patriotism when, like Minister of Business Gaskin, they’d rather quit as a minister but retain their (his is British) citizenship?? With his lacklustre performance as a minister (at best!), hasn’t he confirmed the suspicions that he really didn’t have his heart in his job, with one foot in Britain?? No…your Eyewitness if of the firm view that Art 155 (1) must remain as is.
From the ongoing Constitutional opportunism, our young nation is already suffering from a lack of patriotism internally. Quislings!!
We don’t need to import more from “foreign”, do we??
…the party line??
Your Eyewitness is a tad confused with all the confusion coming out of the PNC camp on the dual citizenship issue and their ministers. Not about the changing stories as to the fate of the Foreign Four as far as their resignations and all that. As he wrote yesterday, he knows that once you’ve received the 18-gun salute treatment of being a minister, parting is certainly NOT sweet sorrow. Bitter bile!! In fact, these fellas (and they’re all fellas) will have to be pulled, kicking and screaming, from their newly furbished offices!!
He gives no shrift at all about any “process” of “renouncing” their foreign citizenship. This Eyewitness has seen enough American protesters during the Vietnam War, burning their passports after they fled to Europe or Canada, to accomplish the “renouncing” – and not be eligible for the draft. All the Foreign Four (well, actually, three, since Gaskin says he ain’t giving up his foreign perks) have to do is call a press conference at the Square of the Revolution.
And burn their foreign passports!!
The nation was assured that the National Assembly simply HAD to meet on April 11, since funding had to be voted for GECOM to conduct elections!
And now it’s cancelled without a new date. Another ploy to delay elections?