Straker, show us the proof! – NDP
October 7, 2016
Straker, show us the proof! – NDP

Strong calls are once again being made for Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker to prove that he is not a citizen of the United States (US).

Straker, born in Layou on February 23, 1944 is also this country’s minister of foreign affairs, commerce and trade and came out of retirement to successfully contest the Central Leeward seat on a Unity Labour Party (ULP) ticket in the December 2015 elections {{more}} after calling it quits in 2010.

Prior to that, he successfully contested the Central Leeward seat in 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

The NDP is contesting the results of the 2015 elections on a number of grounds including an allegation that Straker did not renounce his US citizenship before running as a ULP candidate.

In the latest call by the NDP for Straker to show proof, lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has written to the politician, asking him to show unequivocal proof that he renounced his US citizenship before taking part in local elections.

The letter, dated September 30 said that Bacchus-Baptiste had been instructed that Straker, is in breach of S26 (1) of The Constitution and S35 (1) (a) of the Representation of

the People-Act, “in that you, by virtue of your own act are under acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power namely the USA”.

Bacchus-Baptiste is acting on behalf of a team of lawyers and Ben Exeter, the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate in the Central Leeward election. She is also claiming to act on the behalf of various persons entitled to vote in the Central Leeward constituency.

“My clients have instructed me to request your resignation within 7 days of today’s date or produce proof of the date of any renunciation of your US citizenship, failing which High Court action will commence to hear and determine the question of whether you have been validly elected as a representative for the constituency of Central Leeward,” Bacchus-Baptiste said in the letter.

“This is a very public issue since you have and are still are being paid by the people as a validly elected Minister of Parliament. We anticipate your prudent and responsible action. The constituency of Central Leeward rightfully demands to know this,” the letter ends.

Speaking on the New Times radio program on Nice Radio on Wednesday, October 5, Daniel Cum­mings, the NDP’s Member of Parliament for West Kingstown described as demeaning and insulting, the fact that Straker is not addressing the issue head on.

Cummings said that even in the USA, when President Barrack Obama’s nationality was questioned he made his birth certificate available to the American people.

Cummings stated that Straker knows that a person cannot be a citizen of the United States and a candidate for elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines and although the people of Central Leeward and the country are calling on Straker to show evidence, he is refusing to do so.

Cummings says Straker should resign and claims that there is evidence to suggest that he did not relinquish his American citizenship, a fundamental requirement of being an elected member of parliament here.

The West Kingstown representative added that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves should instruct Straker to show proof that he is no longer a citizen of the US, if there is such proof. Cummings also called on the Christian Council to ask Straker to show proof that he has renounced his American citizenship.

Joining his colleague, Parliamentary Represen­tative for Central Kingstown St Clair Leacock said that Straker should “shut us all up” by doing what Obama and the ULP’s Jomo Thomas and Camillo Gonsalves did — show the proof.

Thomas was a naturalized US citizen, while Camillo Gonsalves was born in the United States.

Leacock said that Thomas’ and Gonsalves’ names do not show up on the voters’ list in the US and if Straker’s name does show up on the list, he should be able to say that, “it is not this Louis Straker.”(LC)