Region 6 to investigate Councillors who hold dual citizenship
Just like in the National Assembly, persons who hold dual citizenship are not qualified to sit on Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) and are also guided by that law. In Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), at least one Councillor on the RDC has admitted to holding dual citizenship.
In the documents, which Councillors would have signed to make them eligible as candidates for their party’s regional list of candidates, they had to swear that they did not hold allegiance to another sovereign state.
Several RDC Chairpersons contacted by Guyana Times indicated that there were no persons on their RDC who have dual citizenship. But this publication was reliably informed that there are two such persons on the RDC. In one instance, one of the Councillors, while admitting that he is a dual citizen, claimed that Guyana’s Constitution has changed and therefore he has committed no wrong. However, based on the several court proceedings filed after the passage of the No-Confidence Motion in 2018 and based on the Judges’ rulings, no such change was made to the Constitution of Guyana. As a matter of fact, under Chapter 28:09 of the Representation of the People Act – Laws of Guyana Section 2, which deals with Regional Democratic Councils, “No person shall be qualified for election as a Councillor or if so elected hold or continue to hold office as a Councillor if he or she is disqualified for election as a member of the National Assembly under Paragraphs 1, 7 and 8 of Article 155 of the Constitution.”
Article 155 (1) states: “No person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly who is by virtue of his or her own act under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience at our adherence to a foreign power or state.”
Meanwhile, Region Six Chairman David Armogan on Friday said that legal action could be taken against persons who made a false declaration.
“In terms of Parliament and in terms of the RDC, it is very clear and I think the Attorney General did address this matter once. If we have evidence that there are persons within the RDC that have dual citizenship and then I have to bring that to the attention of the relevant authorities and I will so inform the Attorney General and then the next step I am sure will be to take whatever action is necessary,” Armogan told this publication.
He added: “as would have happened in the Parliament before, the same thing that applies for the Parliament, my understanding is, also applies for the RDC. So, once we have persons here that are dual citizens, they are not supposed to be on the RDC.”
The law has specified in detail, penalties for persons who would have made false declarations and committed other offences in the process of taking the oath as a Regional Councillor.