Dual Citizenship

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Remittance received from Jamaicans overseas surpasses the gross earnings from tourism, bauxite and alumina. While speaking in New York in 2006, the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller revealed this information. It is from our migrants, including dual citizens that Jamaica receives remittances to bolster our economy. While there are benefits that the country can enjoy from these dual citizens, Jamaicans holding dual citizenship should not be allowed to hold positions in parliament. Loyalty and allegiance are qualities that a Member of Parliament (MP) should portray towards the country he or she serves. For a Parliamentarian to hold dual citizenship, it allows for persons to question his or her allegiance and loyalty to the country. The Constitution of Jamaica, the supreme law of the land has been around since December 1966. The Constitution clearly states that citizens who intend to hold a position in parliament should not hold dual citizenship with another country. Persons arguing that the Constitution should be changed to allow these citizens to take part in the running of the country. Careful thought went into the writing of the Constitution. If the Constitution is amended now to allow this change, it will only be opening doors for others to constitute other changes.

The Honorable Edward Seaga, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, renounced his American citizenship in 1959. He decided that he would not retain his American citizenship and allow others the leeway to question his allegiance to Jamaica. So too should any person wishing to hold a position in parliament cease to benefit from the privileges of a dual citizenship The issue of Parliamentarians with dual citizenship is not new. Many countries are faced with similar dilemma. How it is dealt with differs from country to country. The Jamaican Constitution denies dual citizens from participating in the government. The Constitution further states that if an elected MP wishes to serve in...
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