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Astaphan questions Douglas’ status

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D-Douglas-MPBasseterre, St. Kitts, Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 (MyVueNews.com) –The controversy surrounding allegations that the former Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas, is now a citizen of Dominica, appears to be attracting more attention.

 

The latest to weigh in on the matter is Douglas’ former Cabinet colleague and one time National Security Minister, Dwyer Astaphan.

 

Astaphan has offered the opinion that if the allegations are true, then the former prime minister is no longer qualified to sit in the National Assembly of St. Kitts & Nevis.

 

Astaphan used a portion of his weekly programme on local radio on Tuesday, (10th October), to share his views on the growing debate.

 

He said that if anyone who is a member of parliament becomes a citizen of another country, other than St. Kitts & Nevis, that person would be in breach of the 2009 law that bars any person from having dual citizenship.

 

D-Astaphan-11But Douglas last week angrily rejected the claim that was made by current Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, that he had information indicating that Douglas had acquired a diplomatic passport from a country other than his native land.

 

Photos of the said passport have been making the rounds on mainstream and social media since last week.

 

However, Douglas did not deny that he was currently the holder of a diplomatic passport that was not issued by St. Kitts & Nevis. But he did say he is not a citizen of any other country.

 

It is therefore Astaphan’s argument that it has to be that Douglas has been legally advised that he could carry a Dominican diplomatic passport without being a Dominican citizen.

 

Astaphan quickly pointed out that “…it is noticeable (that) on the document, allegedly the bio data passport page, describes him (Douglas) as a Dominican.”

 

“I have to ask if that is a fake document, because if it is, then the Government of Dominica has a big problem, because people may be forging other passports of Dominica, which could really open a can of worms for them,” said Astaphan, who is a lawyer.

 

But Astaphan continued, “And if the document is not a fake document and the holder is described as Dominican, on what would be then a bona fide Dominican diplomatic passport, then what are we to believe with regard to Douglas’ comment that he does not and never did hold dual nationality. What are we to believe?”

 

The ultimate symbol of citizenship of a country, said Astaphan, is the possession of its passport.

 

“So I don’t see how you could have a passport for a country, whether regular or diplomatic, and not be a citizen of that country,” argued the former Central Basseterre MP.

 

DD-PP-BioDataHe said that as far as he is aware, “…only real diplomats and specially appointed high government officials and spouses and dependent children are allowed to carry diplomatic passports; and use those passports when carrying out their duty on behalf of the government; not when going on a private trip.”

 

Astaphan suggests that if Douglas possesses a Dominican diplomatic passport but is not a Dominican citizen, then “Clearly there could be a major problem here…with worrisome implications for the Dominican leadership, for Dominica, for St. Kitts & Nevis, for our parliament, for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, for Dr. Douglas and so on…”


“But he cautioned that if the document is a fake, and all of this is a made up story, then it could backfire badly on those who would have sought to deliver a knock-out punch to Dr. Douglas’ political career.”



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