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PNC, APNU to address dual citizenship after Court decision

President David Granger and Minister of State Joseph Harmon

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Friday said his political organisations would address the implications for dual citizens being parliamentarians.

“I would reserve any comments on this matter until the court has made its ruling at which time I believe the party of which I’m a member, the partnership of which I’m a member and the coalition of which I’m a member will make definitive statements on this matter,” he said in response to a question from Demerara Waves Online News. Harmon is a member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) which is the biggest party in A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) coalesced in 2015 and won elections in May of that year.

Harmon declined to say whether he would relinquish his American citizenship so that he could be properly enlisted as a candidate for the next general elections.

The State Minister also opted not to say whether he supported private citizen Compton Reid’s grounds of Charrandas Persaud’s Canadian citizenship to challenge the validity of the no-confidence motion. That motion was approved by the 65-seat National Assembly on December 21 by a vote of 33 to 32 after Persaud, the former government parliamentarian, voted for the motion that was sponsored by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

In addition to Harmon’s dual citizenship, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge and Minister of Public Service Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine are both British nationals. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jaģdeo on Thursday confirmed that PPP parliamentarians Adrian Annamayah and Gail Teixeira are dual citizens. Teixeira is Canadian.

Meanwhile, when asked if the government has decided to suspend signing major investment contracts and international agreements, Harmon said the government’s business would continue unaffected.

Jagdeo on Thursday again cautioned investors against inking deals with the government during the 90-day period since the passage of the no-confidence motion, saying the Granger administration was in a caretaker mode.

The High Court is expected to hand down its decisions in three related matters that challenge the validity of the no-confidence motion.