OPPOSITION CONCERNED ABOUT STATEMEMT FROM THE US EMBASSY

The opposition says it notes with considerable concern the statement, purportedly emanating from the United States embassy via spokeswoman Violeta Talandis, which provided a comment on the matter pertaining to Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Waldron, “who is attempting to legalize her unconstitutional conduct when, whilst a dual citizen on September 1 2020, she swore in as a Member of Parliament.”

The opposition said that the renunciation of citizenship of the USA, as is a “notorious fact” and requires certain acts which include:

(i) the swearing of an oath of renunciation,
(ii) payment of certain fees in excess of US$2000 and
(iii) the approval of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)

It states that the latter act generally comes in the form of a written Certificate of Renunciation.

*“The timing of the US embassy statement, purportedly directed to the Clerk of the National Assembly, at a time when he has publicly stated he is seeking advice, is concerning and needs clarification as it appears to run counter to established practice and United States federal law.

This position of retrospective application of the renunciation in US law, as at the date of taking the oath, is however, inapplicable and legally untenable a position in Guyana as regards the qualification for membership of our National Assembly.

The INS, on September 1st 2020, obviously did not grant its approval of renunciation of Waldron’s citizenship of the USA. This approval takes weeks and sometimes months, and so it happened, obviously, after September 1st. That is what matters with regard to applicability to the swearing in of Members of Parliament in Guyana.

The APNU+AFC Coalition views this as an awkward and unwelcome attempt by the US embassy to provide a lifeline to a citizen who is clearly in violation of the Constitution.

The APNU+AFC Coalition maintains, notwithstanding this artifice of the US embassy, that Waldron’s membership to the National Assembly is wholly illegal and unconstitutional on the grounds that on the date of her swearing she was still a United States citizen in accordance with Guyana’s laws.*

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