Opposition Leader and PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo today announced that his party’s Chief Whip in Parliament, Gail Teixeira, has indicated to him that she is prepared to relinquish her Canadian citizenship in wake of the Chief Justice’s ruling.
The Chief Justice ruled on Thursday that it is unconstitutional for someone who would have pledged allegiance to another state, thereby holding dual citizenship, to be nominated or elected to serve as a Member of Parliament.
Ms. Teixeira is a Canadian citizen and has been a Canadian citizen for several years. She is currently in Canada on travel duty for the opposition party.
At his press conference this morning, Mr. Jagdeo claimed that he spoke with Teixeira this morning and she voluntarily told him that she would give up her Canadian citizenship.
“I didn’t ask her to renounce her Canadian citizenship, she said to it to me voluntarily, in fact I know that she has been thinking of it for a while”, he said.
Mr. Jagdeo previously stated that he knows of at least one of Member of Parliament for his party who is a dual citizen.
The PPP General Secretary said the issue will have to be looked at in the future since he does not believe one could encourage Guyanese who live abroad to return home and work to develop the country and not expect them to seek political office.
On the Government side, there are also a number of its Members of Parliament who hold dual citizenship.
Recently, the Minister of State, Joe Harmon, who is reportedly one of those with dual citizenship, has said he will comment at a later date on the issue.