Third hearing this Wednesday in constitutional motion to determine whether Dr. Denzil Douglas is disqualified from National Assembly

This Wednesday, May 30th, 2018, the third hearing will take place in the constitutional motion brought by the Attorney General to determine whether Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Leader of the Opposition, is disqualified from membership in the National Assembly.

The case is based on the fact that in July 2015 Dr. Douglas applied for and obtained a Diplomatic Passport from the Commonwealth of Dominica. The said Passport describes Dr. Douglas as a citizen of Dominica. Dr. Douglas has also admitted to using the Dominican Passport for travel.

Section 28(1) of the Constitution provides that a person shall not be qualified to be elected if he is, by virtue of his own act, under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience or adherence to a foreign power or state. Further, it is stipulated in section 31(3) of the Constitution that an elected member shall vacate his seat if any of the circumstances arise, which would have disqualified him from being elected.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the defendant Dr. Douglas is expected to fulfill his undertaking to present his Dominican Diplomatic Passport to the Judge for inspection. Within seven days of the last hearing on April 20th, Dr. Douglas had complied with his undertaking to provide the Attorney General with information on the number of countries he visited and the number of occasions he did so using his Dominican Passport.

Oral submissions are scheduled to take place on Wednesday by Mr. Douglas Mendes SC and Mr. Anthony Astaphan SC, lead Counsel for the Attorney General and Dr. Douglas respectively, on the admissibility of expert witness evidence in the matter.

A date for trial is also expected to be fixed by the Judge, the Hon. Mr. Justice Trevor Ward QC.

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