Guyana Politics: Shuman bounced from elections by GECOM over dual citizenship

Dr. Vishnu Bandhu of the United Republican Party and Dr. Valerie Leung also rejected for dual citizenship.

Lenox Shuman
Lenox Shuman

GECOM today ruled that the leader of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman be removed from the list of candidates submitted by his party as he was a dual citizen at the time.

The ruling ends Shuman’s role in the election campaign as he was the presidential candidate for his party.  It would also likely put paid to any chance the LJP – largely focused on the indigenous population – had of gathering support at the elections.             

Shuman had last year signaled his intention to renounce his Canadian citizenship to enable him to run for the presidency but it appears that at the time of the submission of the list the process had not been completed.

The outlawing of dual citizenship for Members of Parliament has become a major issue since APNU+AFC challenged the validity of the vote cast by dual citizen MP Charrandass Persaud at the December 21, 2018 motion of no confidence against the government.


Three candidates, found to be dual citizens on Nominations Day, will be removed from the list of candidates for the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

Elections Commissioner, Bibi Shadick and Vincent Alexander say that’s one of the decisions by the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at its meeting held on Tuesday. “I understand that the lists were gazetted but the commission’s decision was that Mr. Bandhu, Mr. Shuman and Ms. Leung, their names have to be taken off those lists because when they put their names there they were all dual citizens… so some correction would have to be made there,” Shadick told reporters.

Those who will be struck off the list of contenders are Guyanese-Canadian, Lenox Shuman of the Liberty and Justice Party; Dr. Vishnu Bandhu of the United Republican Party and Guyanese-American Dr. Valerie Leung of the People’s Republic Party (PRP) .

Dr. Bandhu provided written evidence on Monday showing that the United States issued a certificate dated January 16, 2020, that he relinquished his American citizenship. But Election Commissioner Alexander insisted that candidates could not be dual citizens at the signing of the declaration.

“If one is to apply to be on the candidates’ list and that application requires a declaration, I would assume that at the time of that declaration, you have to be in compliance and the fact of the matter is from all of the evidence, at the time of the declaration, Dr. Bandhu was not in compliance,” he said. At the same time, Alexander said the lists for the three parties were still valid as they have sufficient names.

Vishnu Bandhu

They all signed their declarations on Nominations Day – January 10, 2020 – while being citizens of other countries.

GECOM has since referred the matters to the police, but that law enforcement agency is yet to provide any feedback. Up to Monday afternoon, Bandhu said police had not contacted him.

Shuman has said that he has filed a request to relinquish his Canadian citizenship.

If charged and found guilty, Shuman, Bandhu and Leung could be jailed for one year.

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  • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 2:48 am

    Tough for the candidates, but that’s the current law of the land. There are many other ways that Guyanese with dual citizenship can serve the nation. For example as technocrats or expert advisors to the government. The nation will need lots of level-headed expertise to manage and invest the revenues from the oil exports wisely.

    • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 4:15 am

      Agree …
      Wouldn’t bet on it !
      Unless the political jackasses change its laws
      ASAP and rigorously enforce it there will be
      little or no change.
      Guyana will change but it must come from
      within by its next generations influenced
      by what happens within its borders.
      With such a small population this may
      be just wishful thinking.
      The fact that English is its language a plus
      Plus situ for its people’s.

      In my travels most people I meet make the
      effort to communicate in English.
      It’s is reciprocal as I struggle with
      the various languages on offer…but English
      seems the favourite.
      Post British American now Chinese empires.


  • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 3:00 am

    Why can’t I be a citizen of Timbuktu
    and a citizen of Guyana simultaneously ?
    Dual/multiple citizenship exists
    mainly for tax purposes (money
    laundering) rather than for
    any other reason. Visas a
    basic requirement.
    Citizens of Shengen do not
    require visa for travel within
    the shengen area…as per EU/UK

    Google signatories of shengen.?

    Most countries recognise/accept
    Dual/multiple citizenship today.
    Why make it a “political” issue?
    Or a Nationalistic one.
    Why would I give up my multiple
    citizenship in order to contest
    election in the country of my
    Bells ringing 🔔
    Discrimination on political grounds?

    Am a “resident” of planet earth
    a “citizen” of UK/EU with both
    passports (flags of convenience)
    citizenship a red herring.

    Have opened the can of worms/snake
    in opening this “debate”
    Citizenship ?
    Residential/non residential
    status ?

    PS Any nation state that requires
    a visa for me to visit I will decline
    visiting in principle

    • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 3:24 am

      PS Any nation state that requires
      a visa for me to visit I will decline
      visiting in principle

      Visa requirements are typically reciprocal. I agree that traveling without the need to pay for a visa is desirable but not always realistic for countries that are the target of illegal immigration.

      • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 4:03 am

        Visas will not stop “illegal or legal” immigration.

        Fact of life

        No wall in history has stopped anyone from crossing borders…
        Human endeavour has no limits !

        Maybe should focus more on accepting
        than rejecting immigrants.
        Economic migrants benefit the
        welcoming state.
        USA has 52/3 welcoming/unwelcoming
        states …the un United States of America’s.

        China is one “nationalistic” state.

        India a divided state (religiously)

        Africa also divided states.
        Middle East a war zone.
        Asia china’s overflow.
        Russia a dictatorship

        All issues created by politicians
        to rule the masses/classes

        Go figure


  • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 3:21 am

    Why can’t I be a citizen of Timbuktu
    and a citizen of Guyana simultaneously ?

    You can hold dual citizenship in Guyana. You just cannot become member of parliament or hold an executive position in government. That’s the current law. Guyana may want to change the law in the future. In Switzerland with its direct democracy, you could as a simple citizen launch a proposition to change the law by collecting 100’000 signatures from people that support your idea and force a national wide vote on your proposition. In Guyana, you’d probably have to convince the ruling party to adopt your proposition on the electoral agenda or form your own party.

    Many countries have rules that limit the political participation of dual citizens, particularly if you were to assume executive functions. In Switzerland, Ignacio Cassis, a member of the Federal Council, renounced his Italian citizenship before he was voted into office. He was not required to do so, but it made much sense.

    • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 4:34 am

      Common sense approach to politricks !

      The only reason I wouldn’t go live in
      Switzerland is its weather.
      However my son has a place in Italy
      on border Lake Como which I visit
      often. We just drive across border without
      having to show passports or stopped.
      There were armed soldiers but they know
      what to look out for in advance and do
      random stop and question drills.
      It’s not rocket science. It acts as a deterrent
      to any would be “criminal”…

      Hey Switzerland was Hitlers and his nazi
      party bank post/during/after WW2
      Banks game/fame
      Money laundering to fund wars.

      My take

  • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 3:25 am

    PS Any nation state that requires
    a visa for me to visit I will decline
    visiting in principle

    Visa requirements are typically reciprocal. I agree that traveling without the need to pay for a visa is desirable but not always realistic for countries that are the target of illegal immigration.

  • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 4:58 am

    Thanks to global warming, Swiss weather north of the Alps is no longer as dreary in winter as it used to be. Hardly snow in the cities, far less overcast skies, and much more sun. What do you want more? You should reconsider…. Your son (he is not George Clooney, right?) surely knows to pick nice places in Italy to hang out. 😉

    • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 5:25 am

      Ha ha hilarious !
      Yep all the rich and famous live on the
      Italian side…my son married granddaughter only
      successor to the mafiosa from Sicily.
      My granddaughter was born in Switzerland.
      Have a place in south Spain and south Portugal
      where I spend lots of time winter months.
      UK and Switzerland money launderers of
      the planet….
      Much too expensive for this pensioner to
      survive. Cheaper to live in Italy Spain or Portugal…on UK £ income/pensions.
      Am writing my biography my legacy for children/grandchildren after my exit.
      Life is a bitch
      Then u exit !
      💯 is more than enough for one lifetime.
      Will reincarnate as “Satan” !

      Kamtan UK

      • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 5:39 am

        I hope that Brexit is not going to ruin your life in Spain and Portugal… The UK is on its final way down the drain. Manufacturing gone, pharma industry dead, with no money for its military and left by an economy fuelled by money laundering and real estate sales to high Russians. Regarding your son, you have quite an illustrious pedigree in the family. Hope his wife is not Berlusconi’s daughter… 😉

      • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 7:35 am

        No relations to USA mafiosa …
        More Swiss than USA affiliations !

        He got married on banks of lake como…
        Mafia style wedding.!!

        By profession he is a banker “ money broker”
        Aka money launderer ! Ha ha

        My granddaughter first in line to the mafiosa
        succession. Suggested he joins Meghan and Harry in Canada.

        Hey it’s their future …wish them luck as
        we all need some luck in life. What happens
        in afterlife we all sooner or later discover.

        It is appointed to us once to die
        But when ? That’s is the question !

        Que sera sera

      • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 7:41 am

        My friend …
        After USA ..UK is bancrupt …biggest borrower/customer
        of world bank.
        Zero % interest rate !

        Now go figure

        No problem with my places in Spain/Italy/Portugal.
        Have it all financed in euros !

  • brandli62  On 01/22/2020 at 8:40 am

    By the way, good luck with your biography project! Hope you’ll get it published as Gina Miller’s was a couple years ago. She is another accomplished Guyanese abroad.

    • kamtanblog  On 01/22/2020 at 11:48 am

      Yep ! Clever woman !

      Certainly will rock the British boat !

      A PM in waiting….another AOC usa .

      Women ro the future

  • guyaneseonline  On 01/24/2020 at 7:23 pm

    Shuman gets chance to show he was not dual citizen on Nomination Day
    By Stabroek News January 24, 2020

    The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has written to Lenox Shuman, the leader of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), to allow him a chance to prove he was not a citizen of a foreign state on Nomination Day.

    “The contention at the level of the commission was that once those persons would’ve declared on Nomination Day that they do not hold dual citizenship when in fact they did at that time then they should not [contest] however they have also allowed those persons to provide just cause or reasons why they should remain on the list and that is what has happened in that case…it is an exercise of due process,” GECOM’s PRO Yolanda Ward told Stabroek News in an invited comment on the matter yesterday.

    A statement from the LJP yesterday condemned reports that Shuman had been removed from the list as “grossly inaccurate” and “false stories…published without due diligence.”

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