Clerk says nothing on his desk hours after Harmon claims proof submitted his foreign citizenship renounced
Hours after Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon claimed to have submitted his “original sealed copy” of his revocation certificate showing proof that he has renounced his United States citizenship, the Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs says he has not received the document.
Harmon told members of the media earlier on Tuesday that he wrote the Clerk and submitted an original copy of the certificate along with a copy in response to a request from the Clerk.
On Monday, Isaacs had written to Members of Parliament (MPs) asking them to submit proof that they have relinquished any foreign citizenship they previously held.
When contacted by the News Room on Tuesday afternoon, Isaacs said he has nothing on his desk from Harmon.
In fact, he said others have come asking to see the certificate but he had nothing to show.
Asked again directly whether he received any letter of certificate from Harmon, the Clerk again insisted “the answer is no.”
Harmon had claimed that he submitted the certificate along with a written undertaking asking the Clerk to return his original copy and to ensure that copies are shared with all MPs.
Isaacs said while he had written to all MPs, the only person who submitted proof of renouncing foreign ties is Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs Gail Teixeira.
In the letter dispatched on Monday, the Clerk reminded MPs that Article 155 (1) of the constitution states: “no person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly who (a) is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state.”
In 2019, during the life of the 11th Parliament, Guyana’s Court of Appeal had ruled conclusively on this matter in which it stated that a person who holds dual citizenship is not eligible to sit as an MP in the House.
Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party and newly elected Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman also relinquished his foreign citizenship to contest the 2020 elections after he was initially barred by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from heading the list for the Liberty and Justice Party which he formed.
He had since provided proof to GECOM of his relinquishment but will now be required to submit same to the Clerk of the National Assembly.
Efforts made by the News Room to contact Harmon after the Clerk’s comments proved futile.