As the saga unfolds as to which members of parliament are in possession of dual status or not and the continual game of hide and seek reign there seems to be only one loser, the people of Jamaica.
There is a held view by many and including myself, that irrespective of whether one is a PNP or JLP, if the Constitution states clearly that a person who has dual citizenship status and is not a Commonwealth national such person should not sit in the House of Parliament. Therefore if a politician is sitting as a MP and they fall in such category then on the basis of the Constitution such MP is sitting illegally and should step down immediately. I see no reason why this should be such a long drawn out process. Is it not elementary?
As to whether there should be a by election or the MP who lost who was duly enumerated should take such seat is another issue.
The view of many in Jamaica and out of Jamaica is that all dual citizenship MPs should be declared to the nation without unnecessary filing of constitutional motions burdening tax payers when the issue could be resolved by our politicians being honest and decent and allowing integrity to be the order of the day. Both parties should declare their hands to the people of Jamaica stop the hide and seek game.
The Prime Minister mentioned something very interesting to the effect that if he had taken suggestions that MPs on his side with dual citizenship resign and leave him with a minority Government he would be relinquishing the mandate of the people. One could look at this point from another perspective for the Prime Minister to consider the fact that maybe there is no mandate as the supposed mandate could have been made on a false premise.
Here is a suggestion: why not simply call a general election since it appears that these sporadic by elections will be continual and may generate the same cost as a general election? If there is the fear of the Government losing its mandate then there was no mandate in the first instance and they are operating on a false ticket. Once this election is called with a clean slate of duly elected Members of Parliament the nation should set in motion the process of amendment to the Constitution which is now proving to be a shackle.
One of my colleagues in an international forum I am involved with has summed it up simply by saying “This could be the catalyst required to force both parties to address the issue of constitutional reform.”
Politicians the people of Jamaica are tired of this hide and seek game and what is funny is that you are hiding in the same spot.
Sylbourne Sydial, Executive Chair
Facilitators For a Better Jamaica (FFBJ)