‘Let the Courts Decide’ – Dabdoub Weighs in on Alexis Eligibility for Parliament

Attorney, Abe Dabdoub, says the eligibility of Dr. Shane Alexis to become a Member of Parliament should be decided by the Court.

Dr. Alexis is the candidate of the Opposition People’s National Party who’ll be contesting the South East St. Mary by-election on October 30.

The revelation yesterday that he’s not Jamaican and doesn’t have a Jamaican passport is generating a lot of reactions, forcing the PNP to defend his candidacy.

Dr. Alexis disclosed on Cliff Hughes Online yesterday that he’s a Canadian citizen.

He insists this doesn’t disqualify him from being an MP, saying his status as a Commonwealth citizen makes him eligible to sit in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Dabdoub is a former member of the JLP who crossed over to the PNP and mounted several legal challenges against JLP members who were holders of dual citizenship. He says there are other stipulations in the constitution that could disqualify Dr. Alexis from serving as a MP, even if he’s a Commonwealth citizen.

He says that includes acknowledging allegiance to a foreign power.

He’s calling on parliament to change the law to bar persons who have allegiance to other countries from serving as political representatives.

The Representation of the People’s Act stipulates that a candidate is eligible to enter the Lower House once he or she is a Commonwealth citizen, resident in Jamaica for 12 months immediately preceding that date.

Dr. Alexis says, though he was born in Canada, he came to Jamaica when he was two years old.

In the meantime, another senior attorney, Lloyd McFarlane, doesn’t agree that the Jamaican constitution treats a Commonwealth citizen as a foreigner.

However, he agrees with Mr. Dabdoub that Dr. Alexis’s eligibility to serve as MP, could be determined by a Court.

He’s calling for all provisions that disqualify foreigners from serving in representational politics to be removed.