Change dual citizenship law – Wickham

Peter Wickham

Regional Pollster Peter Wickham wants the Dominica government to use its parliamentary strength and the large chunk of political support it obtained from the electorate in the 2009 general election to change “outdated” laws, and work towards greater transparency.

Wickham, the featured speaker at the delegates conference of the governing Dominica Labour Party, said the Party which received 61 per cent of the popular vote in the last election, should be able to deal with governance issues without having to look over its shoulder.

He made reference to the troublesome dual citizenship issue that recently landed Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and his education minister Peter St Jean in court (the two won their case but the matter is being appealed at the level of the OECS Supreme Court).

“I worry about the fact that in most instances we have not renewed our fundamental laws once or twice at best, if at all,” the pollster said. “I worry that we are afraid to delete from our constitutions a provision that would allow Dominicans holding dual citizenship to hold office,” Wickham, who has weighed in on that matter before and been criticised for it, described as a controversial issue.

“I’m not attempting to throw stones at your constitution because my constitution says the same thing too,” he said, explaining however that the situation in Bridgetown had not, like in Dominica’s case, become a political football. “Because we have had several members of parliament and a prime minister that held dual citizenship and it’s not an issue for anyone,” he explained.

According to Wickham, the reality is that “these types of laws don’t have any place in a modern constitution in the Caribbean, and a constitution that appreciates the reality of life where there are several people who find themselves in these situations through no fault of their own, or alternatively through fault of their own but with very good reasons”.

“And I think this is the reality that we in the Caribbean have to begin to deal with and look at making changes in this way,” the Barbados-based pollster advised.

Wickham replaced former Barbadian prime minister Owen Arthur as featured speaker at Sunday’s DLP Delegates conference.

Prime Minister Skerrit said there that Arthur, the current opposition leader in Bridgetown, cancelled at the last minute for personal reasons, but was now expected in Dominica next month to address another function.

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57 Comments

  1. June 4, 2012

    Get a grip people, Why should that be an issue when you have so many Dominicans who are proud to call DA home, and are so proud to help put DA on the map, think people of what would really happen.

  2. June 4, 2012

    Is it always an issue about citizenship,they why not just leave your citizenship alone and strive to be better i daresay.

  3. June 4, 2012

    Now,conversing with one another opinion starts the misunderstanding,why is it when someone states something about his view there are thing that vary among us people.Let us just strive and be better ourselves.

  4. 1979
    May 23, 2012

    I say NO! if u want to serve, tie the same rope around your neck as is around ours, ALLU THINK ALLU WILL SELL US while allu have allegiance to whoever, wherever, the AUDACITY of these people urggggggggggggggggggggg…

    • 1979
      May 23, 2012

      NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEVVVVVVERRRR we say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! never eva eva eva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. mary
    May 23, 2012

    In a country with good and accountabe governance and leaders of good repute,i can understand the concept of leaders holding citizenship.AS a matter of fact they could use that for the overall good of the country,providing they are for country.But in what obtains in Dominica presently..that rogue government,cabal,dishonest leaders-this would be very fatal,in my opinion,as it would give them a route of escape if we need to prosecute them for crimes committed against the state like this criminal enterprise(skerrit governmrnt) will one day be prosecuted.

  6. May 22, 2012

    THE LABOR PARTY GOVERNMENT REALLY UNDER ESTIMATING THE INTELLIGENCE OF DOMINICANS. THE SAME POLL STER THAT IS ASKED TO CONVINCE DOMINICANS AND THE WORLD BY EXTENSION THAT THE DLP BECAUSE OF ITS POPULARTY WILL WIN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION IS THE SAME MAN WITH A DLP RED HAT ADDRESSING THE SAME PARTY’S NATIONAL DELEGATE CONFERENCE, WHAT ,IS STUPID WE STUPID. WHY DOES SKERRIT ALWAYS TRY TO MAKE DOMINICANS BELIEVE THEY ARE JOKERS OR A BUNCH OF MIKEY MOUSE. PLEASE ,SKERRITT, THE POLL STER MUST BE LAUGHING AT YOU.

  7. Trend
    May 22, 2012

    Decriminalize marijuana first. That law has the judges doing things they don’t really want to do. They can’t even touch the coke boys enough to send a message on hard drugs, because those boys have a lot of money to keep things under wrap.

  8. Robin
    May 21, 2012

    BTW….. If a DOminican with dual citizenship is willing to move away from a comfortable life to serve all you ungrateful people in DA (yes I said, you all are just some spiteful peeps) and earn tiny salary compared to six figures they could earn abroad, don’t you think this person may have the best intentions and should be evaluated based on their skills and not citizenship?

  9. Robin
    May 21, 2012

    Yes they should change the law. Educated people from Dominica should be able to participate in politics even whilst holding another citizenship. Dominica is filled with incompetent leaders. Citizens of Dominica abroad want to contribute but don’t want to lose what they’ve worked years to acquire else where. It’s well within their right to do so, because they won’t be in politics for the rest of their life. There’s nothing wrong with having a security blanket. Dominica raised its citzens and another country has afforded them the opportunity to be properly educated. They shouldn’t risk losing what they’ve worked had for especially since DA people can be so ungrateful and usually vote based on who they like. EXample: US government paid grants towards my BSC, MBA, PHD. I decide I want to contribute to DA so I denounce my US citizenship come run for office and these idiots still voting for skerritt. Now where does that leave me? I don’t think so! Dominica needs all the help it can get and if you all bend the rules for china you can bend for those citizens who were born and bred here and are ready to contribute!

    • 1979
      May 23, 2012

      ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh please.

  10. Views Expressed
    May 21, 2012

    I believe Peter whatever is out of place and discgustihng naking such ridulous statement and such proposals without foundation. Our constitution has been in place since independence. The culprit other than Peter is the PM who lied and deceived the people of Dominica with his dual citizenship. The Om Skerrit should have demionstrated his decency in public office holding such high office to decare who he is and not lie and go through thge bacdoor to register as a candidate to for election. Thay is thievery, he is a fraud and has tarnish his name and that of the Dominica. Peter is just here with no credability to sing the song of Skerrit.
    How did Wakeham become a guest speaker, where or what happened to Owen Arthur. Did he diced those clowns for Peter and I wonder in what capacity and with what credability did he, Peter become a guest speaker. What authority has he?
    Petrer Wakeham can “GO TO HELL…..GO TO HELL…GO TO HELL”…and leave our damn business alone..

  11. May 21, 2012

    Talking about changes Lets start with the “BAIL ACT”.

  12. Anonymous
    May 21, 2012

    Now tht bajan out of order. I am a labor supporter but i support our constitution. Provision ismade in the constitution for a reason.

  13. Nkrumah Kwame
    May 21, 2012

    There is NO need to bash the gentleman in this manner: he is a citizen of CARICOM – so too is Dominica – and also a human being!! Why can’t he express his opinions?

    And by the way, I could not agree with him more.What is this issue of dual citizenship? Do’t we have a difficulty with a law that bars a national with dual citizenship from holding office while the SAME CONSTITUTION enables a citizen of ANY COMMONWEALTH COUNTRY to vote in local elections once he/she has been living here for three months PRIOR to the elections?

    And in any case it is a fact that the MOST CAPABLE CITIZENS of this country are in fact dual citizens. I too, have multiple citizenship and would for nothing in the world give up these additional ones. What is it that DA has for me to relinquish such?

    Let us change the constitution as regards this issue and let DA go forward please.

    And please be informed that I have NO political affiliation, it is just an issue which to my mind has not been dealt with the required objectivity and lack of emotion.

    Regards.

  14. Ms Lewis
    May 21, 2012

    I challenge any one of you who”se just sitting agree to everything to do like wickham and go to his coutry Barbados and mingle in his country’s business and talk publicly about Barbados Laws and see what would happen only in D A those happening

    • Robin
      May 21, 2012

      It has nothing to do with mingling and everything to do with taking good advice. This country is one step closer to the gutters year after year because all it’s trained people aren’t able to serve even whilst holding another citizenship. I don’t see anything wrong with what he said. What you’re mentioning is having enough pride to ignore good advice because they won’t take yours in B’dos. If he’s right that several Bajan leaders held office whilst carrying dual citizenship well they might be good evidence of what happens when all Bajans are allowed to contribute. Their openness towards their own people who can actually contribute to the development of their country should inspire you to encourage Dominican involvement from away!

  15. Carib Territory
    May 21, 2012

    The reason why they want to have two passport , is when they bankrupt the country they can go and live happily in the other one.There is no way you can have foreign allegiance to two countries it does not make any sense, this will only lead to high level corruption in a country. Why all other countries have it on there books? Tell Wikam to go back to Barbados, Dominicans are really backward in there thinking. All developed countries have it on there books.

    • Robin
      May 21, 2012

      The reason I want two passport

      Born and raised in DA. Carried water to my home until I was 15 years old, No toilet but we had a bathroom. I climbed trees in portsmouth, castle bruce, Roseau etc. I’ve experienced everything and maybe more of what it means to be Dominican. I helped my grandfather pack bananas in boxes whilst getting cut doing so. I decide to keep my passport because that’s where I’m from!

      I’ve decided to acquire US citizenship for many reasons that were based on my education. But whilst being sworn in I couldn’t ignore what the US has done for my life. grants (money I don’t have to pay back) paid for most of my education, healthcare, house, car and I’m this close to being debt free. If I had stayed in Dominica I wouldn’t have all those things at the ripe young age of 32. Besides the financial aspect I feel almost endebted to the United States of America. So that’s why I’m keeping my passport and if you all never change the rules then you all will stay stagnant! Life is a gamble but I’m not willing to gamble all this for people who don’t even think I deserve an opporunity to serve just because of a piece of paper. You keep on sitting there and saying why things won’t change but you all are infact the obstacles to change!

      • Malatete
        May 22, 2012

        Robin, like you and many others I too have dual citizenship for reasons very similar to yours. It is a safety valve and a door to the wider world and I value it dearly. But as a member of parliament or prime minister my loyalty and commitment must be undivided and only be dedicated to Dominica and that is exactly why, in such a circumstance I would feel duty-bound to renounce my second citizenship. By foregoing that “safety valve” I would be compelled to concentrate all my efforts on Dominica only without any ambiguity. Remember, nobody is forced to become an M.P. or a P.M. remember. You can always reclaim that second citizenship once you are no longer in public office.

      • Cacoa man
        May 22, 2012

        arrogant , show off and condescending blogant. Who cares about what you achieve in the US or didn’t. Just express your opinion on the matter no need go into your financial Aid, TAP, whatever .. STUPEEES .

      • reality
        May 22, 2012

        so suppose you were to serve dominica with your ‘two pieces of paper” and next ting economic crisis hit dca, where would you stay?(already u this close to being debt free)
        you basically want to have your cake and eat it. it also goes to show that u are not ready to make the commitment to your country that it deserves if you so love it. to put it in an analogy you have a hard working wife at home that help to make you a man although she cannot give you nothing much financially but now you meet a nice young bling flex dat willing to give you some of everything. what do you want: you want to have them both but it nah work so you have to make a choice and show who you commited too. no lip service my boy real love dca need ok

  16. Asking
    May 21, 2012

    The Barbados connection. Remember what WikiLeaks disclosed about Wickham? Remeber about the Ponzi-like scheme involving CLICO? Many, many Caribbean nationals and institutions lost millions of dollars of their investments into CLICO.

    Remember who was the former boss of CLICO when all that corruption took place? Wasn’t he that same CLICO boss appointed as our non-Dominican Bajan Ambassador? Isn’t he in possession of our diplomatic passport? Wasn’t he brought to court in Barbados? Is Wickham concerned of all those millions lost as a result of the Bajan CLICO boss greed, selfishness and bad management?

    Remember the revelations that CLICO funds went to election campaigns of DLP as well as Political parties in Barbados? What about CLICO boss, the ruling Bajan Party, channeling of funds from CLICO to a certain law firm of a former PM to be re-channelled, alledged money-laundering? Read all about those things in the Barbados Nation or Barbados Free Press. Wickham would never tell us about those things.

    Which political Party in Barbados is Wickham associated with? With which political Party is the former boss of CLICO associated? Which party is the Bajan political adviser to DLP associated with? Put one and one together.

  17. Anonymous
    May 21, 2012

    Boss keep out!

  18. Original-Eagle Eye
    May 21, 2012

    Peter Wickham is in DOminica politics alone you would keep sticking that of yours! Let Dominicans make the decisions that affect them and their consitution. You are under serious investigation in Barbados go yap there! Try that in Jamaica and you would find out where you would end up. Stop mingling in DOMINICAS business!

  19. May 21, 2012

    There is nothing backward about the law. Tell that to the most modern country in the world. They hold their citizenship with pride and would definitely not allow someone with dual citizenship to hold office in their country. So if you want to hold office in the country of yr birth give up the naturalized one. Be fair, be honest.

    • Robin
      May 21, 2012

      yeah? How is Skerritt working out for you? How did Edison James workout for you? You guys are great for a laugh!

  20. May 21, 2012

    DUAL CITIZENSHIP OR NOT IF YOU CANNOT DO THE JOB LET SOMEONE ELSE DO IT…THIS MAN IS QUITE RIGHT WHEN HE SAID THIS LAW MUST BE CHANGED …WHAT EVER DECISION SOMEONE WOULD TAKE TO HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP IS FOR A GOOD REASON…END OF STORY..

    • Robin
      May 21, 2012

      You’re the brightest bulb on this page. This is why DA people in the state they are. It’s 2012 and they haven’t evolved. Boy do they have no plans to evolve. That’s why skerritt running the show. They hungry living in old run down homes but still hating on diaspora instead of the PM. That’s why when you see I reach in that place two days and ready to go back where I come out. You cyan even go in a restaurant and have a civilized convo with these peeps. Ignorant!!!!

  21. Malatete
    May 21, 2012

    Is that the same Peter Wickham, who lost all credibility and was summarily sacked by the CBC last Sept. when it was revealed that he gave secret briefings to U.S. embassy personnel in Bridgetown whilst at the same time acting as a political consultant to the DLP? The man is clearly not trustworthy and his motives questionnable, to say the least. Why did our DLP hire him nonetheless when no one in their right mind would do so in his own country?

  22. j
    May 20, 2012

    all double edged razor blades do run dull someday

  23. helas!
    May 20, 2012

    PEOPLE WE ARE NOT SO DUMB, IN SOME COUNTRIES IF YOUR MUM HAS DUAL CITIZENSHIP YOU DO NOT QUALIFY.
    DOMINICA IS NOT SO AND I DO NOT WANT A PERSON WHO SWEARS ALLEGIANCE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE MY PRIME MINISTER. CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. TELL PETER GO TALK THAT CRAP TO HIS PEOPLE AND GET OUT OF OUR POLITICS

    • Robin
      May 21, 2012

      Yeah how is Skerro working for you? Got food on your table? your kids going to school with their belly filled? Got proper healthcare recently? Your home is clean, free of pests, has running water and descent toilet? Do you own your home? Do you worry about your children’s lives after high school? etc etc….. A piece of paper means nothing but a capable and competent individual can chnage the lives of so many Dominicans. Take that lassie out and suck in the pride. Welcome your brothers and sisters who are willing to contribute. Trust me if some don’t want to help DA you’ll know because you know what they’ll never make a fuss about this to people who to ignorant to give a damn!

      • 1979
        May 23, 2012

        you @##### have no clue what an informed decision is. inform yourself on the pros and CONSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS before you talk out of your other mouth, i am disgusted that dno even publish this GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. such disgrace
    May 20, 2012

    peter wickham ,u are a bajan and bajan already say dominicans are monkey people so because u addressing dominicans they must swallow up your nonsense.boy go and tell bajan people that nor.i just find you are out of place , leave that dual citizenship alone and go tell your prime minister to change it in BARBADOS.quack quack!!!!!!!!!!

  25. ...............
    May 20, 2012

    Go talk this koshonyee in Barbados,and you will be asked to shup up Wickham, because Bajans are politically smart. We Dominicans are smart too.

  26. Annon
    May 20, 2012

    That’s a minor issue affecting only a few in high places. Instead take the time to decriminalize marijuana while they are at it. Just look at St.Vincent capitalizing on our shortsightedness.

    Too many of our youth in prison and/or owing lots of money to the courts for just a little weed. While it seems, cocaine that has taken great toll on our young men & women enjoys some sort of immunity, with just a token bust now & then to appease us. Perception is everything.

  27. dom
    May 20, 2012

    I agree, because we live in a modern world where people move around, live in different countries, go to school abroad. I would prefer a prime minister with dual citizenship who had a solid background and education. than an idiot who only qualifies because they are a citizen.

    • Malatete
      May 21, 2012

      You presentation of this as an “either – or” issue is clever and traps the unaware into believing that they must chose one or the other. I submit that it is entirely reasonable for people to insist that their leader be well educated, not be an idiot AND have Dominican citizenship only.

  28. Gee
    May 20, 2012

    ***They like being “KINGS OF THE HILL”***

    I don’t think They’ll change the constitution to allow Dominicans with dual citizenship to run for office. That’s because the local politicians wants to be like “the KING of the hill”. I don’t think they want the added competetion, ideas & knowledge that these Dominicans would bring to the table.

    Some people might think that these Dominicans would be loyal to two countries but, on the contrary. When these Dominicans would be elected to office they would still need to take an oath of office. This would mean that they would now be taking a new loyalty pledge in supporting ONLY the constitution of DA!!

    I welcome the reality of this but as I said, DA politicians will not agree to that because they want to remain …….

    “THE KINGS OF THE HILL”!!

  29. doznmatta
    May 20, 2012

    They should have changed that backward law a long time ago. It does not serve Dominica’s best interest, and nobody who has the opportunity to break it keeps it.

  30. ?????
    May 20, 2012

    Why can’t this man go speak his crap in the country of his birth. Is it that the people of his birth country are smarter than us. Well Mr Wickham there are many smart people in Dominica. Your crap needs to be rejected in its totality.

    • forreal
      May 21, 2012

      you lashed out at what the man said,i was looking forward to here your reason why not, or your ideas,when you find a problem with something someone said especially on a public forum,you need to explain yourself,your ideas,your solutions,remember people are reading your response,your posting,this is what a social media is for,educating each other,each one teach one,dont just lashout because you disagree.

  31. May 20, 2012

    The Dual citizenship law makes sense. How can you hold allegiance to one country and serve another. The solution is to give up the citizenship. What is wrong with that. You want the best of both worlds which is disadvantageous to yr opponent. Please renounce one and hold the other. You are called to service in one country whilst you are serving another. Public life is serious business. Do not be frivolous about it. When you give it up we know that you are serious about your country.

  32. Reason
    May 20, 2012

    I agree it is time to change the constitution on this matter. In 1977 -78 when the constitution was being framed the concept of large numbers of Dominicans having dual citizenship and coming and going regularly to and from Dominica was not expected. Times change and laws must change with them.

    • justice
      May 20, 2012

      Nonsense. This is a great law. If one has national pride he will be patriotic and renounce the other citizenship.

  33. maindesk
    May 20, 2012

    the man just said that there were and perhaps still are illegal members in the Barbados parliament and that is not an issue for Bajans. well we are somewhat more disciplined than you Bajan guys so it is an issue for us.

  34. Dominican abroad
    May 20, 2012

    Get a grip people, Why should that be an issue when you have so many Dominicans who are proud to call DA home, and are so proud to help pu DA on the map, think people of what would really happen.

    • Malgraysa
      May 21, 2012

      You forget that the Dominicans overseas, with dual citizenship were accused by a minister of this Govt. of wanting to run the country from afar by remote control? Are you one of them?

  35. May 20, 2012

    I can’t agree more. change is inevitable.

  36. Choice X
    May 20, 2012

    Owen Arthurs’s last minute withdrawal sounds a bit rude. Was it accidental, or otherwise???

    Peter Wakeham should leave that dual citizenship thing alone. Why should be changed when “no law, or constitution…” can prevent a dual citizen from fruuning from office in practice?

    • Tete Chien
      May 20, 2012

      I’m not suprised at the last minute decision by Mr Arthur to back down.I suspect the gentleman got scared of the vicious personal attacks that my fellow Dominicans would throw at him.So the man did the right thing by staying away.Mr Arthur has to protect himself,his reputation and his family from all manner of attacks.From any quarter,political or other wise.Dominicans is that what makes us proud?Its just my opinion.

    • Dominican
      May 20, 2012

      The pm was right when he spoke about the law the constitution and nomination>Read all of them and you will see what is said you Idiot UWP blessing is all you god fools you all are.Make Matt and Lennox play back the tape and listen to what the man said jack in the box

  37. Bond
    May 20, 2012

    yes

  38. Gullibl
    May 20, 2012

    This DLP has guts to bring a double agent as the featured speaker. There is no doubt that he was a snitch bad talking the DLP to the US embassy.
    .

    • Malgraysa
      May 21, 2012

      Maybe Roosevelt Skerrit feel he owed him a payday but with Peter Wickhams’ reputation in tatters it reflects badly on the PM’s judgement, specially internationally.

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