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Letters to the Editor

Ask the PNP...

Friday, October 13, 2017

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Dear Editor,

In light of the citizenship controversy surrounding Dr Shane Alexis, People's National Party (PNP) candidate for St Mary South Eastern by-election, I have a few questions which I hope will be answered by someone.

We understand that as a result of the public unravelling of the issue the PNP candidate is now taking steps to acquire Jamaican citizenship. My questions, then, are:

1. Did the PNP even know that Dr Shane Alexis did not hold Jamaican citizenship?

2. Does the party even verify and do background checks before nominating candidates?

3. Did the PNP and Dr Shane Alexis not think there would be any issue surrounding the fact that Dr Alexis does not hold Jamaican citizenship? Did they think that meeting the Commonwealth citizenship eligibility would be good enough for Jamaica and Jamaicans?

4. Didn't the PNP bother to notice their own hypocrisy, considering their past actions regarding candidates with dual citizenship and the 'born ya' theme they ran in many campaigns?

5. It is now understood that Dr Alexis holds a Grenada passport (his mother being Grenadian by birth), and Canadian, although both parents we understand are Jamaicans. Why did he not follow their lead?

6. After living in Jamaica all these years (since he was two years old, according to reports), why did Dr Shane Alexis, as an adult, refuse to acquire Jamaican citizenship? Did he not see any benefit(s) at all to Jamaican citizenship considering he lived in Jamaica most of his life?

7. Can one vote in Jamaican elections without having Jamaican citizenship? According to reports, Dr Shane Alexis voted in previous elections. Does Jamaican residency entitle one to vote regardless of citizenship?

These are interesting and relevant questions concerning citizenship and eligibility for political representation/participation in the context of the Jamaican Constitution.

P Chin




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