Attorney at law, Christopher Ram today lodged a formal complaint with the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James on possible violations of the laws of Guyana by members of the National Assembly who hold dual citizenship.
Ram noted in the complaint that a constitutional action brought by a fellow citizen Compton Reid saw the Chief Justice (ag.) Roxane George ruling that “anyone who holds dual citizenship, that is citizenship of Guyana and of a foreign power or state, as envisaged by Article 155 (1) (a) and therefore falls in this category of disqualified person pursuant to Article 156 (1) (d) should not and cannot be a member of the National Assembly …. “.
He said that in his opinion the following persons are likely to have taken a false oath and therefore violated section 4 of the Statutory Declarations Act.
Rupert Roopnaraine; and
He said that he has also asked the Commissioner of Police to expand this investigation to all Members of Parliament since reports from the media suggest other members have refused to answer questions by the media on whether they have dual citizenship.
Ram said that the oath, set out in a Form to the Representation of the People’s Act specifically refers to Article 155 and “even the weak defence of ignorance cannot therefore mitigate against the offence. It is perhaps not without significance that taking a false oath constitutes a criminal act under the Criminal Law Offences Act. Despite calls made in the past for compliance, candidates appeared to have considered themselves above the very law which they swore to uphold. The consequences of such disdain and contempt for the law have now become pellucid and credit must go to the Attorney General Mr. Basil Williams S.C. and the attorneys for Mr. Reid for their strong, persuasive and ultimately successful arguments in the case. Unfortunately, despite the ruling by the Chief Justice, very senior members of the National Assembly continue to flout the law posing a threat to the effective convening of the National Assembly and any proceedings thereat”.
Ram said that the case of Greenidge is a cause of considerable concern since he represents
Guyana’s interest regionally and internationally. He added that. Harmon’s case is equally serious, if ironic.
“His most recent pronouncement that there is not enough matter to warrant the convening of the National
Assembly suggests that he has assumed the role of decider or communicator of whether that body can meet, even though he himself is legally barred from that body. Mr. Harmon also appears to have taken a lead role in the continuing defiance of the Government to the ruling by the Court, a defiance which threatens democracy in our country”, Ram stated.
Ram said that any efforts or action to subvert democracy must be prevented at all cost.
“The Guyana Police Force, as the Country’s principal law enforcement body has a duty to ensure that that is done. In view of the grave nature of this matter, I have therefore implored the Commissioner of Police to
undertake the investigation with all convenient speed and diligence and to take such action as is necessary and appropriate…”, Ram said.