St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); Legal and political pundits at home and abroad are weighing in on the allegations that Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas possesses a diplomatic passport issued by another country and the implications this could have regarding his standing in the parliament, and more generally, where his allegiance lies.
Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan is of the view that if in fact Dr. Douglas holds a diplomatic passport of a foreign country, it does not disqualify him from holding a seat in the parliament, nor does it means he’s sworn an oath of allegiance to a foreign power.
However Attorney Dwyer Astaphan, a former government minister of both foreign affairs and national security, thinks Dr. Douglas may be facing some legal and political challenges if indeed he has the foreign diplomatic passport.
He challenges the opinion of Senior Counsel Astaphan that a diplomatic passport can be issued to a non-citizen of Dominica.
Dwyer Astaphan says if Dr. Douglas has acquired citizenship for another country, he knowingly breached the oath he took on Nomination Day.
Since Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris made the allegation that Dr. Douglas holds citizenship for another country and is the holder of a diplomatic passport for a foreign country, Dr. Douglas has denied having dual citizenship and threatened to sue the Prime Minister if he did not issue a retraction.
To date however, Dr. Douglas has refused to say if he does hold a foreign diplomatic passport. He said even if he does, it is of no legal or political consequence, since holding such a passport is not in contravention of any of the laws of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Dr. Douglas accused Prime Minister Harris of spreading fake news as a means of diverting attention from the contentious issue of the government reducing the cost of its Citizenship By Investment on the heels of Dominica’s hurricane destruction dilemma.