ST KITTS – AG hints at foreign diplomatic passport matter moving to High Court

Vincent Byron Jr, Attorney General of St Kitts-Nevis

The Government of St Kitts and Nevis is preparing to go before the Court under Section 36 of the Constitution in the foreign diplomatic passport matter concerning Dr Denzil Douglas, Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament representing Saint Christopher #6.

Attorney General Vincent Byron Jr. announced this today in the House of Assembly.  

Section 36 gives the High Court jurisdiction to hear and determine questions of membership validity with respect to the National Assembly.  Importantly, the section also gives the Attorney General the right to apply to the High Court for the determination of such questions. 

Moreover, if a person other than the Attorney General makes such an application, the section gives the Attorney General the right to intervene and “appear and be represented in the proceedings.”  Section 36–(8) states, “In the exercise of his functions under this section, the Attorney-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.”

The Attorney General said he has “initiated instructions to senior counsel to begin proceedings in this matter to determine whether the member for number six should vacate his seat or not.”

“We have evidence that the member for number six has a diplomatic passport that states in it that he is a Dominican national.  This Government, Mr. Speaker, would like to place on record our very deep concern that someone who has led this country for many years, and who still sits in this Parliament, should hold a passport of a foreign country – and we say, as that result, has shown an acknowledgement of allegiance, that he has shown an acknowledgement of obedience and adherence to a foreign state,” he said.

“Mr. Speaker, this Government is deeply concerned that we should have someone who sits in our Parliament who is in a position to be disqualified.”

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