‘I’m now GT to the bone’ – Harmon no longer a US citizen

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Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon Thursday confirmed that his United States citizenship has been officially relinquished by the United States Government.

Harmon, who had resigned from his portfolio as Minister of State and as a Parliamentarian earlier this year because he held dual citizenship, said the revocation took effect from July 31, 2019.

“I received a response from the US Embassy on October 8th that my application had been approved,” Harmon told reporters at a post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday at the Ministry of the Presidency.

Harmon had written to the U.S Embassy here asking for revocation and was waiting on a response.

“So I am now GT to the bone,” Harmon said with a smile on his face.

He is now only a Guyanese citizen, paving the way for his to return to his Ministerial portfolio and the National Assembly post-March 2020 general elections.

Already Harmon has said that he is ready to serve his country.

A recent constitutional challenge in Guyana’s High Court which was appealed all the way up to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) found that persons who hold dual citizenship did not qualify for election to the National Assembly.

That challenge was mounted following the December 21, 2018, No Confidence vote that toppled the APNU+AFC Coalition Government by its own Parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud.

Persaud at the time held and still holds Guyanese and Canadian citizenship.

Specifically, Article 155 (1) (a) of the Constitution provides that “No person shall be qualified for    election as a member of the National Assembly who is, by virtue of his or her own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state.”

Harmon was one of four Government ministers who were affected by the ruling and were forced to resign from the House. The others were Dr Rupert Roopnaraine who was Minister of Public Service, Dominic Gaskin, who was Business Minister and Carl Greenidge, who was Foreign Affairs Minister.

Greenidge previously announced that he had renounced his UK citizenship and that he too stands ready to serve the country.

Meanwhile, Gaskin who was born in the United Kingdom has publicly stated that he will not relinquish his UK citizenship.

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