Wed | Dec 13, 2017

MPs should have Jamaican citizenship, says former Prime Minister

Published:Tuesday | October 24, 2017 | 7:37 PMJerome Reynolds
Golding ... this is a fundamental issue as it relates to governance.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding has weighed in on the controversy involving the People's National Party's St Mary South East candidate , saying he believes all Members of Parliament should be Jamaican citizens.

Golding says this is a fundamental issue as it relates to governance.

His remarks come against the background Dr Shane Alexis is only a citizen of Canada and Grenada.

Although Alexis does not hold Jamaican citizenship, as a Commonwealth citizen, he is eligible to sit in the Parliament.

He will face off with the JLP's Dr Norman Dunn in a by-election on Monday.

In an interview on Power Talk on Power 106 FM today, Golding, said he does not have a problem with dual citizens serving in Parliament, but he believes such persons must have Jamaican citizenship.

Golding, who is also a former leader of the Jamaica Labour Party, says the constitutional provision which allows Commonwealth citizens to run for a seat in parliament is deeply entrenched and would require a two-thirds majority vote in both Houses as well as a referendum to change it.

He says an immediate fix would be for Section 40 of the Constitution, which outlines factors for disqualifications from becoming an MP, to be amended.

 

Former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding

The former prime minister says he supports broad constitutional reforms, such as removal of the Monarch and the Privy Council as Jamaica’s final appellate court.