The politically moral thing for the government to do at this point is to ensure that all its dual citizenship members resign from Parliament or renounce their foreign status. Otherwise, it is only giving the political opposition more ammunition to be used against it, says university professor and political commentator, Dr. David Hinds.
Dr. Hinds, who is also a member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), also clarified that his position does not exclude one of his party’s leaders, Minister of Public Service, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine.
The WPA executive member said, “The matter of whether dual citizens should sit in the House has gone to the Caribbean Court of Justice [CCJ]…I rather suspect that that is the reason why the government has not taken a decision as yet. However, my personal view is that nothing that would transpire at the CCJ would change the clear constitutional requirement that someone who has dual citizenship should not be in Parliament.”
He continued, “I would not wait on the CCJ. Members should renounce citizenship or resign from Parliament. I think it is a clear case and it goes for all members of Parliament. Sometimes in politics, you have to do what is morally correct and not what is technically correct. You cannot be selective about what you respect as far as the law is concerned.”
The political commentator added, “The two courts, the High Court and the Court of Appeal, have made their rulings on this matter and the least our leaders can do is show some respect for our local courts, even as they await the determination of the CCJ.”
Dr. Hinds was also asked to say if he agrees with the criticism in some quarters that the APNU+AFC Government is, once again, making a huge blunder where this issue is concerned. He said, “I don’t know that it is a big blunder but they are bringing unnecessary criticisms on themselves which they don’t need at this point.” He added, “At this late hour, you don’t want to give your opponents ammunition.”
The WPA member said that whoever is advising the government on this issue is giving its members bad political advice.