Should Caricom Politicians Hold Dual Citizenship?

Dual Citizenship: the status of an individual who is a citizen of two or more nations.

Anyone following Caribbean politics would of known by now of Danville  Walker resignation as head of Jamaica director of elections over the matter of his US citizenship. He held  that position for 11 years. Whether he knew it or not members of that country electoral commission including himself could not hold dual citizenship according to their constitution.

Which brings me to this question? Can a civil servant in good conscience swear allegiance to  his adopted country and still serve loyally in the political arena of his birth country without any conflict of interest?.

Can the Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson hold dual citizenship and his Minister of Foreign Affairs Christopher Sinckler. Whose interest would they be serving anyway?.

Barbados recognizes duel citizenship. If a Barbadian acquires US citizenship, he/she retains their birth country citizenship upon naturalizing in the US. The Barbados Contitution chapter 2 states – “Any citizen of Barbados who has attained the age of 21 years and who also is a citizen of any other country, or intends to become a citizen or national of any other country, shall be entitled to renounce his citizenship of Barbados by a declaration made and registered in such manner as may be prescribed.” This suggests a voluntary action, with no official compulsion. That’s all well and good for the ordinary citizen but when one steps into  politics it is a hold different arena all together.

This is in no way an indictment on Mr Walker part’s. If his country constitution barrs him from holding dual citizenship whilst serving as director of elections then in his own words, “It’s a matter of principle that I offered to do so [resign].

However parliamentarians and civil servants have a duty bound interest to protect and place their country’s interest first above all else. Or it should be.  Allegiance to two flags are tantamount to serving two masters. It is that simple. You will either love one or hate the other. Politics is not the place for divided loyalties. It is not the place where the heart ought to be torn between a foreign power and your place of birth.

Politics is the science and art of government involving political activities, affairs and beliefs. Beliefs that can conflicts greatly with ones own native country. Therefore as not to find oneself in such a position, declaration of renunciation is advisable.

 Let that be one thing the people of the land don’t accuse politicans of.

 

 

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