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PNP defends nomination of Canadian in St Mary SE

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP), in responding to concerns raised by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) over the citizenship of Dr Shane Alexis — who was yesterday nominated to represent the Opposition in St Mary South Eastern — said its candidate is committed to Jamaica's development.

It was today revealed that Alexis is a Canadian, which makes him a Commonwealth citizen and eligible to run for office.

Member of Parliament for Portland Western, Daryl Vaz, at a press conference this afternoon said the issue was not about legality but morality.

"I find it hypocritical, I find it immoral that after the People's National Party made it a point of duty to carry five of us in our last term in office to court on a dual citizenship case that they would be so bold and brazen to confirm a candidate to run on their ticket...who is neither the holder of a Jamaican passport or a Jamaican citizen," Vaz said.

Read more: PNP’s Dr Shane Alexis not J’can, says Vaz

However, in defending its candidate, the PNP in a subsequent press release said: “Having lived the majority of his life in Jamaica, Alexis is committed to service and the country's development.”

The PNP admitted that Alexis was born in Canada but came to Jamaica as a young child and attended Saints Peter and Paul Preparatory School and Campion College in Jamaica. He completed his undergraduate education in Jamaica before receiving a scholarship to study medicine in Cuba.

“The Jamaican Constitution is clear that individuals born in Commonwealth countries are eligible to sit in the Houses of Parliament,” PNP stated, adding that after completing his medical training, Alexis returned to Jamaica and worked in several public medical institutions, including doing training and working at the Kingston Public Hospital, Bustamante Hospital for Children and the Annotto Bay Hospital.

The Opposition also pointed out that Alexis has served as president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association, and was appointed to the board of the National Health Fund (NHF) by the present JLP administration.

Alexis was nominated yesterday as the official candidate for the PNP at the St Theresa Catholic Church nomination centre in Annotto Bay, St Mary.

Meanwhile, the party noted in its release that there are members of the JLP seated in the Houses of Parliament, who also hold Commonwealth citizenship.

Additionally, former JLP leader and former prime minister, Edward Seaga was not born in Jamaica, it said.

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