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“Dr Douglas knows better and should seek to do better,” says Premier Mark Brantley

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SKN Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas

 

 

Commentary by Premier Hon. Mark Brantley,

Premier of Nevis Dr. Hon. Mark Brantley

I have largely stayed out of the Douglas Dominica passport fiasco but today I saw a video clip outside the High Court where Dr Douglas is once again taking up people and parading them around Basseterre to support foolishness. Dr Douglas knows better and should seek to do better.

In an affidavit filed by him in the passport fiasco seen by me today he makes some startling admissions. First, he admits he holds a Dominican diplomatic passport. This is after weeks of prevarication on the matter including telling the Public that it was none of their business. Second, he admits he applied for and exhibited the application form duly signed by him for the said passport. Third, he admits that he used the Dominican passport to travel around the world. Fourth, he admits that the Dominican passport held by him clearly states his citizenship/nationality as Dominican.

Now Dr Douglas maintains that he has never acquired Dominican citizenship and now argues that he left that part of his application for his Dominican passport blank but that the computer automatically filled in the citizenship field as “Dominican”. His argument then is that it is not his fault but the computer’s fault why his passport says that he is a citizen of Dominica.

But this is clearly an illogical argument. If indeed this was the doing of the computer which wrongly listed Dr Douglas in the passport as a citizen of Dominica then it begs the question: why did Dr Douglas nevertheless travel the globe on that passport when he knew that it erroneously stated his citizenship as Dominican? He only knows that the computer made an error now that he was caught using the passport of a foreign country?

Now the pundits and scholars may have different views but my view is clear. The Constitution prohibits any of us from serving in our Parliament if we hold citizenship or have sworn oath or allegiance to a foreign country. I am reminded of the admonition in Holy Writ at Matthew 6.24:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

The framers of our Constitution recognized that we cannot serve St Kitts Nevis and Dominica.

Dr Douglas knows this well. He spearheaded the howling cries against Lindsay Grant and Shawn Richards. Both men had to renounce their US passports in order to stand for elections in St Kitts. My brother Alexis Jeffers in Nevis had to do likewise to stand for elections in Nevis. Dr Douglas and his Labour Party even pursued Eugene Hamilton through the Courts alleging that Eugene held a US passport even though he did not. Dr Douglas did not stop there. He introduced and passed legislation in the National Assembly criminalizing anyone who dared to serve or try to serve in the St Kitts Nevis Parliament whilst under allegiance to a foreign government. Any such person and anyone nominating them to run in an election was to go and spend hard time at 1840.

Isn’t it exceedingly odd therefore that Dr Douglas finds himself now trapped in a conundrum first highlighted and trumpeted by him?

Today is a sad day for all of us. Once again we are seeing our constitution trampled upon. Once again a section of the St Kitts Nevis populace is being asked by Dr Douglas to support foolishness. Dr Douglas knows better and must do better. My advice to him then and now is to resign from Parliament; refund the Treasury the monies unlawfully collected by him as a Parliamentarian whilst disqualified under the Constitution from so acting; renounce his Dominican citizenship and give back Dominica its passport; and prepare himself for a bi-election in number 6. “There are no two ways about this. There is only one way about it.”

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