Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Raphael Trotman, confirmed with the Guyana Standard today that discussions have been initiated with President David Granger on the implications of their respective dual citizenship members sitting in Parliament.

AFC Member, Dominic Gaskin, who is also Minister of Business, has dual citizenship status. On APNU’s side, dual citizenship members include Minister of Public Service, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge.

Trotman told this news agency that both sides will soon come up with a solution that does not “offend the Constitution.”

The AFC Leader said, “I am currently, as leader of the party, engaged in discussions with the President and we will make our position known very soon. But I won’t go further about my personal feelings on the matter. I am engaging the President and we are working on a way forward.”

Asked to confirm if the discussions are being held because the AFC and the APNU share differing views on the matter, Trotman retorted, “As I said, we are working together to come up with solutions on the matter. It is not a dispute or anything. We are cognizant of the fact that both sides have persons who are implicated in the ruling of the court and we will have discussions to find a way forward which gives respect to the law and without offending the Constitution…There is no difference of opinion on anything.”

The Guyana Standard then challenged Trotman on the basis that his position seems contradictory. It was pointed out that, on one hand, the local courts made a very clear ruling on the matter and the Constitution is also unambiguous on this front. Both the local courts and the Constitution say that dual citizens should not hold a seat in the National Assembly.

All Government members were confirmed to be attending the next Parliamentary sitting, which is scheduled for next week. This decision seemingly flies in the face of respecting the law, a principle Trotman firmly believes in.

All Trotman would say in response is, “As I said, I have engaged the President long before these comments are made about the implications of the ruling and we are working on something that will respect the rule of law, the Constitution and the rights of Members of Parliament. I think the nation will be satisfied that we would have found something. The President will in due course be the one to pronounce on this matter. I won’t say more.”


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