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Harmon appointed Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency

Joseph Harmon

Former Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has been appointed Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, even as he goes through the process to give up his American citizenship, the state-run Department of Public Information said Tuesday night.

This is believed to be the first time that government has given any indication of the new appointments of Harmon, Carl Greenidge, Dominic Gaskin and Rupert Roopnaraine who have all resigned as ministers and parliamentarians because they are dual citizens.

“I wrote to him and said I have commenced the process of renunciation of US citizenship and therefore by the time we come around to the next elections, I will go back into the Parliament,” he was quoted as telling a community meeting at the New Silver City Secondary School in Linden (Region 10).

He said, “I did not choose to resign to avoid renunciation”. The Department of Public Information reported that that clarification followed the announcement of the former State minister’s new appointment within the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Director-General said as a result of the court proceedings following the December 21, 2018 no-confidence vote, it was found that the Constitution provides that “no person who has sworn allegiance to another state can be in the National Assembly.”

According to Harmon, “this meant several persons who were in government and held dual citizenship, had to renounce.” He further explained the process of renouncing requires a certain number of applications and is done over a period of time. It was noted that before the renunciation process is complete, MPs holding dual citizenship were required to resign their seats.

In the new line-up, it is unclear who would wield more political or administrative clout at the Ministry of the Presidency since Harmon’s successor is Dawn Hastings and there is also a Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency.