Guyana’s Former Vice President Gives up UK Citizenship to Contest Upcoming Elections

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday October 7, 2019 – Former Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge says he has officially renounced his British citizenship, paving the way for him to be eligible to be a candidate in elections next March.

Greenidge was one of four government parliamentarians – all of whom were also Cabinet ministers – who resigned earlier this year after the court ruled, during a challenge filed by the government after it lost a December 2018 no-confidence motion, that no one with dual citizenship could sit in the National Assembly.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Greenidge said he had received from the relevant British authorities, confirmation that his application to renounce his citizenship has been accepted.

“I have informed President Granger accordingly and therefore look forward to being included on the list of candidates from which the party will make its selection of MPs following the holding of the regional and general elections in 2020,” he said.

Greenidge, who said his UK citizenship and residence enabled him to take advantage of wide-ranging educational opportunities he would not have been in a position to access or finance had he remained in Guyana, pointed out that he had served as at the highest level professionally before entering the political field.

“Having given up a promising academic career for politics, my record as a Minister and as a successful negotiator in particular for Guyana and developing states, is rivalled by very few other Guyanese,” he said. “I stand ready to continue that contribution.”

Along with Greenidge, the British-born Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin; Minister of Public Service Dr Rupert Roopnarine, who also had British citizenship; and Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who had United States citizenship, had resigned in April. Harmon was shortly after hired as Director General at the Ministry of the Presidency.

The issue of dual citizenship came to fore after then government backbencher Charrandass Persaud, who has Canadian citizenship, voted with the Opposition on the no-confidence motion, allowing it to pass.

The High Court subsequently upheld the validity of the no-confidence motion – which the Appeal Court reversed before the Caribbean Court of Justice validated it – and issued a ruling on the dual citizenship issue.

Several People’s Progressive Party (PPP) MPs also admitted to having dual citizenship – Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, Adrian Anamayah and Odinga Lamumba – and they gave up their parliamentary seats.

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