JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding in speaking at the Swearing-in Ceremony of Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Shahine Robinson said the absurdity concerning dual citizenship needs to be corrected as a part of the way forward. Mrs. Robinson who is also the Member of Parliament for the North East St. Ann constituency was sworn in by the Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen today at Kings House following her win in the by-election on December 20. Prime Minister Golding explained that someone who is Jamaican born and raised and becomes a citizen of the United States is ineligible to serve in Parliament. However, a person from a Commonwealth country who resides in Jamaica for only a year is eligible to serve in Parliament and can also become Prime Minister of Jamaica. “There must be an effort to address this absurdity by way of the Constitutional Reform Commission and the Joint Select Committee of Parliament. Fifteen years ago in the process of reviewing the Constitution, we agreed at that time to recommend that the constitution be amended to make it clear that only a Jamaican citizen can be elected as a Member of Parliament.” He continued to say that the discussion concerning dual citizenship has been adversarial and polarized. “We have not really focused on whether or not what Jamaica wants going into the future is a situation where for you to be a Member of Parliament, you must be a citizen of Jamaica only, or whether we want to recognize our reality that there are citizens of Jamaica and of other countries who manage their loyalty to each country.” Mr. Golding said these issues must be looked at as the nation has grown and has taken dual citizenship for granted.

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