PNP Immoral, says Vaz
As the race for the prized St Mary South East seat heats up, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has questioned the moral standing of the People's National Party (PNP) in selecting a candidate who is not Jamaican but Canadian.
The PNPs Dr Shane Alexis who is a Canadian citizen has fulfilled all the legal requirements under the Jamaican Constitution to be nominated in the upcoming October 30 by-election.
In a release yesterday the PNP confirmed that Alexis was born in Canada, came to Jamaica as a young child, and attended Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory School and Campion College in Jamaica. According to the PNP Alexis completed his undergraduate education in Jamaica and thereafter received a scholarship to study medicine in Cuba.
"The Jamaican Constitution is clear that persons born in Commonwealth countries are eligible to sit in the Houses of Parliament," the PNP added.
However, Daryl Vaz, the Portland Western MP who the PNP took to court in 2008 after it was discovered that he was a dual citizen, yesterday blasted the PNP describing the party as "politically bankrupt" in selecting someone who does not have a Jamaican passport to represent the party.
"This has nothing to do with the individual but with the PNP and its hypocrisy," Vaz insisted during a press conference in the government offices at Gordon House - the seat of Jamaica's Parliament.
"If your commitment to Jamaica is of such that you seek to go into the House of Parliament why would you not make all efforts to become a naturalised Jamaican citizen?" Vaz questioned.
He said the same effort Alexis made to be on the voters' list should have been used to pursue Jamaican citizenship. With Alexis' wife being Jamaican, Vaz reasoned: "It was not about him being precluded from going through the process to become a naturalised citizen, it is more that he was not inclined to do so."
"It cannot in any way, shape or form be justifiable, not because it is not legal but because it is immoral."