Diplomatic passport saga continues in High Court Wednesday

Mr. Val Henry, MyVueNews.com:

Dr. Denzil Douglas

Basseterre, St. Kitts, 29th May, 2018(MyVue News.com)-  The political drama regarding the diplomatic passport being held by the former St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, is due to take a new turn on Wednesday this week, when the Labour Party leader submits his travel document for the examination of the High Court.

Those in government have been advocating that given Douglas is a holder of an official diplomatic passport issued to him by the Government of Dominica, and given that the said travel instrument cites him as a national of Dominica, then this would be in violation of the constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis.

As a consequence, the coalition government in Basseterre, led by Dr. Timothy Harris, a former Senior Minister in a previous Douglas Cabinet, is calling for either the resignation of Douglas from the National Assembly of the twin-island nation, or for his seat to be declared vacant.

The core of the issue is that no Member of Parliament in St. Kitts and Nevis is allowed to hold dual citizenship, while serving in the Assembly.

However, Dr. Douglas continues to maintain, that while he does have a diplomatic passport, he is not a citizen of Dominica, and that he has pledged no allegiance to that sister OECS state.

The leader of the St. Kitts & Nevis Labour Party insists that he is a citizen of one country alone and that is St. Kitts & Nevis.

Attorney General, Vincent Byron had some months ago filed a constitutional motion, to disqualify Douglas from sitting in the Assembly and as such, serving as the Opposition Leader.

Information shared by government sources revealed that the passport held by Douglas was issued in July 2015, just five months after he was unseated by a three party coalition of the People’s Action Movement, PAM, CCM and PLP, which is Harris’ new political group.

Douglas and his party have argued that the government is wasting public resources and is only seeking to deflect from its mismanagement of the country since assuming office in February, 2015.

However, the government cites Section 28(1) of the Constitution which provides that a person shall not be qualified to be elected if he is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state. Further, it is stipulated in section 31(3) of the Constitution that an elected member shall vacate his seat if any of the circumstances arise which would have disqualified him from being elected.”

Key information being sought by the government, which demanded that the diplomatic passport be submitted for examination, include the number of places (countries) visited by Douglas and the number of occasions while using his diplomatic instrument.

Also expected to be dealt with by the presiding judge on Wednesday, is the setting of a date for the actual hearing of the substantive case.






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