'I expect to be a J'can citizen in short order,' Alexis tells ComradesFriday, October 27, 2017
Dr Shane Alexis, the People's National Party (PNP) candidate contesting the St Mary South Eastern seat in next Monday's by-election, said he has submitted his application to become a naturalised Jamaican.
He made the announcement on Wednesday night while addressing PNP supporters in Cane Heap district, Richmond, St Mary as campaigning intensifies for the battleground constituency.
“Dem try spread all kind a rumour and try fi get we out of the race,” Alexis told supporters. “Comrade leader, today (Wednesday) I completed my application for citizenship and I expect to be a Jamaican citizen in short order.”
It was recently revealed that Alexis, a Canadian by birth who also held a Grenadian passport, did not own a Jamaican passport.
Despite being eligible to run for office by virtue of being a Commonwealth citizen, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) lambasted Alexis' candidacy and the PNP for seeking to offer a non-Jamaican as a parliamentary representative.
Up to last Thursday the JLP criticised Alexis for not submitting an application for Jamaican citizenship.
“I find it hypocritical, I find it immoral that after the People's National Party made it a point of duty to carry five of us in our last term in office to court on a dual citizenship case, that they would be so bold and brazen to confirm a candidate to run on their ticket who is neither the holder of a Jamaican passport nor is a Jamaican citizen,” member of parliament for Portland Western Daryl Vaz stated at a press conference called on October 10, a day after Alexis was nominated.
On Wednesday night, PNP leader Dr Peter Phillips, in rallying support for Alexis, said the candidate had provided patriotic service to the country despite not being a citizen.
“He is a young Jamaican, a youth that has energy, as the good book says we call upon the youth because they are strong,” Phillips said.
“This youth has a proven record of patriotic service to the country that he has served all his life. He has worked in the hospitals, he has given service at Annotto Bay, KPH (Kingston Public Hospital), [Bustamante] Children's Hospital, he has worked in private practice, he has been a representative of his profession, president of the Junior Doctors Association, president of the Medical Association of Jamaica, a young Jamaican who has given service everywhere. Him can't determine where he was born,” Phillips added.
On Monday, Jamaicans in three constituencies will vote in by-elections to determine their representatives.
Alexis is going against the JLP's Dr Norman Dunn to replace former MP, the late Dr Winston Green who died suddenly; while the PNP's Mark Golding and Dr Angela Brown Burke are vying against the JLP's Dane Dennis and Victor Hyde to represent St Andrew Southern and St Andrew South Western respectively.
The St Andrew seats were vacated by Dr Omar Davies and former Prime Minister and PNP president Portia Simpson Miller earlier this year.