The leader of the newly-formed Liberty and Justice Party, Lenox Shuman, Saturday evening announced he would be giving up his Canadian citizenship.
“Let me be clear. I am committed to making a difference in Guyana. As a parliamentarian, who swears to uphold the constitution of Guyana, my first act cannot be to break the law. It is with this that I have a firm commitment and obviously principle that I will be giving up my Canadian citizenship status,” he told a well-attended launch of the Liberty and Justice Party at the Georgetown Club, Camp Street, Georgetown.
Shuman said he would soon make another attempt to discuss relinquishing his Canadian citizenship with Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee.
He said his decision was motivated by the need to abide by Guyana’s laws and constitution, but at the same time “I want to make this abundantly clear- love Canada”. “Canada has given me so much that I can never ever repay and the Diaspora has so much to offer that we can never repay,” he added.
The LJP Leader called on overseas-based Guyanese to help their homeland to achieve all of its goals in a timely manner. At the same time, he cautioned them against returning “to be part of an elite that looks down on the people who for generations have stayed here but you are coming home to be part of our motherland’s solutions and successes.”
Shuman’s decision comes at a time when the constitutionality of Guyanese parliamentarians holding dual citizenship is being challenged in the High Court after former government lawmaker and Canadian citizen Charrandas Persaud voted for an opposition-sponsored no-confidence motion.