Shuman claims he is no longer Canadian citizen, says will remain Presidential Candidate
Presidential Candidate of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman on Tuesday denied that he still held his Canadian citizenship on Nominations Day –January 10, 2020 – when he submitted a signed declaration to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) declaring that he is eligible to contest the national elections.
Shuman at a press conference at his Cowan Street, Kingston, Georgetown office told the media that on December 11, 2019, he “renounced his allegiance to Canada” which began the process of relinquishing his Canadian citizenship.
He said Tuesday that he received “a copy of a certificate” from the Canadian High Commission which shows that his process was completed on January 9, 2020 –one day before Nominations Day.
The Candidate did not have a copy of the certificate to show to the media but rather said: “that document is lodged at the elections commission.”
Further questioned on the document, he said: “…if you wish to deal with that component of it, then that has to be taken up with the Canadian High Commission.”
Shuman said he is contesting the elections as the party’s Presidential Candidate and accused the Governing and Opposition parties of trying to get him out of the race.
He noted that he has since met with Chairperson of GECOM, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh and gave his reasons, as requested, on why he should remain on his party’s list.
“The fact that I did not have a certificate to present to anyone to satisfy them is irrelevant. I have met the Constitutional requirement to contest these elections….and today, I presented a copy that was certified by the High Commissioner [of Canada to Guyana] to GECOM so anyone who wants to question whether Lenox Shuman is eligible or renounce his citizenship or anything, by all means, give the High Commissioner a call,” Shuman said.
Presidential Candidate of the United Republic Party (URP), Dr Vishnu Bhandu and People’s Republic Party (PRP) candidate, Dr Valerie Leung were also written to by GECOM to provide proof that they relinquished their foreign citizenship.
Political parties in the past had Members of Parliament (MP) who are dual citizens in contravention to the laws of Guyana which bar any person who has sworn allegiance to a foreign country from being a Parliamentarian.
However, more scrutiny is being placed on the issue this year after a ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice in 2019 deeming this practice illegal.
The court ruling was made in a case challenging the validity of a vote of No-Confidence cast by Alliance For Change (AFC) Parliamentarian, Charrandass Persaud against his own Government.