Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Calls for Guyana tourism minister to resign

Published:Monday | October 26, 2020 | 12:13 AM

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):

Guyana’s main opposition coalition, APNU+FC, has called for the resignation of Tourism Minister Oneidge Walrond.

The call was made after Walrond admitted that she was a dual citizen when she was recently sworn in as minister of government and as a member of parliament.

In a statement, the tourism minister said that she has since renounced her US citizenship.

“I wrote to the US Consular Office on August 18 renouncing my citizenship to the United States of America with immediate effect. I was thereof informed of the administrative procedure I must comply with to obtain a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States. I complied with that process by August 27. I have since received the Certificate of Loss of Nationality. I took the oath to the National Assembly on September 1. That was after I renounced my citizenship of the United States of America,” she said.

However, in response, the APNU+AFC said, among other things, that “a person’s dual citizenship comes to an end at the time of the dated renunciation certificate, not at the time when one decides to embark on the process”.

The opposition added that the tourism minister “is being disingenuous and duplicitous and misleading when she states that she “immediately renounced her citizenship”.

“There is no such thing as the immediate renouncing of one’s citizenship. It is a process, and it is only formal and final after the process is completed,” said the coalition.

CALL FOR RESIGNATION

The opposition said that based on the mentioned concerns, it had called for Walrond’s immediate resignation and her removal as a member of parliament.

But up to late Saturday, the minister, who took the oath of office on September 1, did not respond to specific questions from the opposition.

President Irfaan Ali, when asked whether the tourism minister had given up her American citizenship before she had been sworn in, said, “I know that she gave up the status; that’s what I know. From the time we announced the Cabinet, I am sure that all members, all the members, were in line. They knew what they had to do, and they would have already done what they had to do.”