Letters to the Editor

I'm very proud of Shane Alexis; Daryl Vaz is the hypocrite

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I notice a number of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activists have been deliberately trying to mislead the public about the principle surrounding the People's National Party's (PNP) challenge of certain candidates who were improperly nominated for the 2007 General Election.

Drowning men really do clutch at straws.

The fundamental principle on which the JLP's improperly nominated candidates were challenged in 2007 is simple. Individuals who seek to represent Jamaica must conform to the constitution and laws of Jamaica. The finer point is that the laws of the land stipulate who can and who cannot run, and the JLP was vulgar in their disregard for this law in the 2007 election.

There is no parallel to be made between challenging the nomination of someone like Daryl Vaz, who sought nomination in contravention of Jamaica's laws, and Shane Alexis who was properly nominated with the support of thousands of residents of St Mary South Eastern on Monday. One would think that Vaz, of all people, would understand that the reason the court ruled against him in his dual citizenship case is because he was in violation of Jamaica's constitution in 2007; not because of any witch-hunt.

There is no principle of exclusion by the PNP; in fact, Patrick Roberts was a properly nominated dual citizen on the PNP's ticket for the 2007 General Election. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams is also said to be a citizen of both Jamaica and Canada. No party has challenged the provision in the constitution that permits citizens of the Commonwealth to both vote and seek to represent. If Vaz wants this provision changed, he is a Member of Parliament and should make his case there.

But let's further examine this argument about principle. The JLP, in its 2016 election manifesto, promised to include Jamaicans in the Diaspora in our Parliament by way of a seat in the Senate. To date, no visible step has been taken to have this done. Is the recent desperate attack on Shane Alexis an admission that this manifesto promise was nothing more than a ploy to get members of the Diaspora to fork out their hard-earned US and Canadian Dollars to support the JLP?

Our vibrant, inspiring, engaging young professional candidate in St Mary South Eastern is properly nominated. He had the option of earning hundreds of thousands of Canadian dollars, but instead, while many young professionals are going in the opposite direction, he chose to serve in Jamaica. This is a constructive demonstration of Shane's commitment. We are proud of him and look forward to celebrating with him on the evening of October 30, 2017. The people of St Mary South Eastern stand to gain with Shane.

Omar Newell

President, PNP Patriots

omar.newell@gmail.com

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