Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Seat Warm-er

Published:Tuesday | February 1, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Everald Warmington

Another MP faces boot from House over US citizenship

Arthur Hall and Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporters

Everald Warmington, the fiery government member of parliament (MP), could be the next person forced to leave the House of Representatives in the long-standing battle over dual citizenship.

The Gleaner was yesterday able to examine documentation proving Warmington was a United States citizen at the time of his nomination for the 2007 general election.

Warmington subsequently renounced his US citizenship, but that came during the squabble over other members of the House who had sworn allegiance to a foreign state.

"It is an issue that the party is aware of and one which we want to settle before it becomes a court matter," a senior Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) source told The Gleaner.

"What is on the table is for Warmington to resign and allow the prime minister to call a by-election in the constituency where he is sure to be re-elected," the source said.

Warmington won the South West St Catherine seat in the 2007 general election, polling 10,488 votes to the People's National Party's (PNP) Dr Dennis Jones, who grabbed 7,244 votes.

So far, members of the PNP have successfully challenged four members of the governing party who held dual citizenship at the time of nomination - Daryl Vaz, Michael Stern, Shahine Robinson, and Gregory Mair.

All four were subsequently re-elected in by-elections.

The JLP has moved after two sitting Opposition MPs - Ian Hayles and Sharon Hay-Webster - but these challenges are still to be settled in the court.

Yesterday, PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill did not rule out the party moving after Warmington or any other member of the JLP sitting in the House in breach of the rules.

However, Pickersgill refused to name Warmington, even as he claimed the PNP was aware of persons on the government benches who remain in breach of the island's laws.

"We have irrefutable evidence that some of those in the Government revoked after nomination, so they are sitting in the House illegally," Pickersgill told The Gleaner.

When contacted by The Gleaner, Warmington refused to entertain questions on the issue.

"If you want to call me, then call me about something substantial, don't call me about those petty stuff," declared the junior minister for water and housing.

He added: "In the middle of the day, I am doing the Government's work. I can't discuss stupid rumours or discussions ... . I don't want you to call me about certain nonsense."

'What is on the table is for Warmington to resign and allow the prime minister to calla by-election in the constituency where he is sure to be re-elected.'