The Presidential Candidates for three of the political parties contesting the March 2 elections in Guyana have been removed as candidates by the Guyana Elections Commission.
At its statutory meeting earlier today, the Elections Commission made a decision to remove Liberty and Justice Party candidate Lenox Shuman, United Republic Party candidate Dr. Vishnu Bhandu and People’s Republic Party candidate, Dr. Valerie Leung from the list of candidates because of their dual citizenship at the time of their declarations on nomination day.
GECOM’s move was confirmed by Commissioners Vincent Alexander and Bibi Shadick following today’s meeting.
The move by the Elections Commission came on the same day that the Commission published the lists of all candidates contesting the elections in local newspapers. The names of the three candidates who have now been removed were among the listed candidates published by GECOM in the press.
Earlier today the Leader of the United Republic Party, Dr. Vishnu Bhandu provided a copy of his certificate of relinquishment of US Citizenship. But the certificate is dated January 16, 2020 and that means that at the time of his declaration as a candidate on January 10, 2020, he was still a citizen of the United States.
LJP Leader Lennox Shuman has admitted in recent press interviews that he is still to be granted approval for his relinquishment of Canadian citizenship.
He has repeatedly claimed that he has started the process but up to nomination day, it had not yet been completed and remains incomplete.
It is unclear whether the other candidate, Dr. Valerie Leung of the PRP ever applied to relinquish her American Citizenship.
The three could face criminal charges over making a false declaration to the Elections Commission.
It is prohibited under the Constitution of Guyana for someone who has pledged allegiance to another country to contest elections for a seat in parliament.