Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Vaz is calling out the PNP for shifting its position and ideology for political expediency, by nominating a candidate who is not a Jamaican to contest the by-election in S.E. St. Mary.
This follows an admission by Dr. Shane Alexis, to the media, that he is not a Jamaican citizen. Dr. Alexis was born in Canada, a Commonwealth country, to a Jamaican mother who was studying there at the time.
Vaz is of the view that the nomination of the PNP’s Shane Alexis, though legal, reeks of hypocrisy given the PNP’s position on past matters relating to the citizenship status of Members of Parliament, especially his. Vaz was born in Jamaica to a Jamaican father and an American mother, but he applied for a US passport. The US is not a Commonwealth country.
He said that the PNP has a track record of shifting positions on matters of national importance and ideology, for the sake of political expediency, and it has put them out of favor with the electorate.
“In 2007 members of the PNP used Jamaica’s judicial system to bar citizens of Jamaica from serving as Members of Parliament because they also held citizenship in other countries. However, on Monday the Opposition People’s National Party nominated a candidate who failed to apply for Jamaican Citizenship despite being in Jamaica for thirty-seven (37) years. He is therefore in a worse position than the Jamaican MP’s who were challenged by the PNP in 2007, given that he only holds citizenship from a foreign country;” Vaz chided.
The West Portland MP posited that he does not believe that Dr. Alexis, nominated by the PNP, deserves the vote of the people of South East St. Mary.
“He has already shown that he has no respect for the people of the constituency and the Parliament of Jamaica, by deciding to run in an election without first becoming a citizen of Jamaica.
“He told the PNP and hid it from the people of South East St Mary. They do not know him and he has made that very clear;” Vaz declared.
While the debate heats up on the political scene various media reports suggests that the voters both JLP and PNP do not consider the issue to be of any consequence.