Wednesday 13 December, 2017

Shane Alexis: There was no necessity to apply for Jamaican citizenship

Dr Shane Alexis

Dr Shane Alexis

People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for South East St Mary, Dr Shane Alexis says he did not apply for Jamaican citizenship because “the necessity did not present itself” in his day-to-day life before his entrance into representational politics.

Alexis’ nationality became hot topic earlier this week when the ruling Jamaica Labour Party revealed that he was a Canadian citizen who does not hold a Jamaican passport.

Alexis addressed the issue in an interview with Loop Jamaica on Wednesday.

“I didn’t start my journey to become a politician so I was able to do all the things everyone was able to do and so the necessity (to apply for Jamaican citizenship) did not present itself in my day to day life,” Alexis said, noting that the application process is an “onerous” one.

He added, “Now that my life has changed to become a political representative, it’s more of a necessity but it doesn’t change the work I have done for the country or the plans I have for it.”

However, Alexis, like the PNP, noted that he was duly nominated as the Jamaican Constitution states clearly that persons born in Commonwealth countries are eligible to sit in the Houses of Parliament.

“I have nothing to hide, I have been properly nominated… I think that issue is clear,” he said. “I have always lived here, I voted in the last several elections, I have my driver’s license here… My entire career has been to the benefit of Jamaica.

“I am Jamaican and have been as long as I can remember, I just happen to be born in Canada,” Alexis said.

Alexis will face off against the JLP's Dr Norman Dunn in the October 30 by-election.

Watch the video below.