It has now been confirmed that the Leader of the Opposition the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas is the holder of a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica, though he still insists he is only a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis.
According to a government release earlier this week indicated that Douglas admitted in a sworn affidavit filed in the High Court Registry on February 21, 2018, that he filled out an application form and was issued with a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica, which he has used to travel.
“This is borne out by a certificate of exhibits thus filed among the papers at the court,” Attorney General Vincent Byron quoted in the release.
However, Dr. Douglas continues to insists that he is only a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis despite holding the diplomatic passport of Dominica. “I don’t represent Dominica at any time at all with a diplomatic passport I have never done, never did and I don’t think I ever will do that.
He continued, “As I have said before, a diplomatic document was presented, because it was felt that it would facilitate travel in particular if it became necessary so to do. It was nothing more than that. I was never asked to represent the government of Dominica or the country of Dominica anywhere.”
Commenting on the case Dr. Douglas indicated that the government claims will be nixed as he has no allegiance to any other state. “The case will come to naught. I am not a citizen of Dominica never did, never applied, never received citizenship. The diplomatic passport was issued to me as a courtesy to my long standing service not only in St. Kitts and Nevis but in the Caribbean region.
“I never was asked to apply for citizenship, I was never asked to take an oath of allegiance to the government or the country of Dominica and although as a Caribbean citizen I feel very qualified to speak on matters of Dominica or any Caribbean country, but I definitely do not do speak as a citizen of Dominica but as a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis being a long standing public servant within the region,” Dr. Douglas said.
The Rt. Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, poured cold water on Douglas’ arguments calling him a ‘hypocrite” who has long been against Federation citizens holding diplomatic passports.(See current Observer story: Brantley Blasts Douglas).
The Attorney General is asking the High Court to declare that Dr. Douglas has vacated his seat in the National Assembly by holding a diplomatic passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica. The Constitutional Motion also seeks an injunction to restrain Dr. Douglas from taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly.
Section 28 (1) of the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis and Section Six (6) of the National Assemblies Act both provide that “a person shall not be qualified to be elected or appointed as a member if he is by virtue of his own act under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state”, said the Attorney General.