Shahine Robinson

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Shahine Elizabeth Fakhourie Robinson is a Jamaica Labour Party politician,[1] currently serving as the Minister of Labour and Social Security. She is a member of the Parliament of Jamaica for North East Saint Ann. She served briefly as the Transport and Works Minister from late November 2011 to January 2012.


Before entering politics, Robinson worked in the banking and tourism sectors. She had been involved at the margins of politics for almost two decades as a JLP supporter, and was tapped by then-Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga to do more work during Michael Belnavis' leave of absence.[2] She was first elected to Parliament after the resignation of People's National Party MP Danny Melville in 2001, defeating the PNP's Carol Jackson in the resulting by-election.[3][4] She naturalised as a U.S. citizen in 2006, while sitting in Parliament. However, the following year, she handed back her U.S. passport at an Immigration and Naturalization Service office in Key Biscayne, Florida in advance of the Jamaican general election, 2007, stating that she believed this constituted renunciation of U.S. citizenship.[5] She went on to defeat PNP candidate Oswest Senior-Smith in that election by 2,022 votes.[6]

After the 2007 election, former legislator Manley Bowen of the PNP, who was registered as a voter in Robinson's constituency, sought a declaration from the Supreme Court that she was not qualified to be elected due to her alleged dual citizenship.[7] Robinson continued to hold her parliamentary seat until a court removed her from it in 2010 and ordered her to pay legal costs of J$15.3 million to Bowen.[8] She went through with the formal renunciation procedure, and obtained a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in December 2010.[5] She then won back her old seat in a by-election that month, defeating PNP challenger Devon Evans, and was sworn back in as an MP in January 2011.[9]

In November 2011, Robinson filed a challenge to the costs order in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it was excessive; she particularly objected to the J$5 million paid to professor David P. Rowe for a legal opinion about her citizenship, arguing that the information could have been obtained at much lower cost from U.S. government sources.[8] Later that month, PM Andrew Holness named her Transport and Works Minister, succeeding Mike Henry; the move was a surprise even to Robinson herself.[4] However, in December 2012, Bowen filed a notice of bankruptcy against Robinson in an attempt to compel her to pay the costs he had been awarded. If adjudged bankrupt, Robinson would be disqualified to sit in Parliament.[10] In April 2013, on the day before Supreme Court Justice Lennox Campbell was scheduled to issue his ruling on the costs order appeal, Robinson came to a settlement with Bowen whereby she would pay JM$4 million, or slightly more than a quarter of his original claim.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Robinson is of Lebanese descent. She was born and raised in Claremont, Saint Ann Parish where her parents Peter and Kathleen and grandparents all lived.[12] She graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Jamaica and went on to Miami Dade College where she earned an associate degree in marketing and a diploma in public relations.[2] She lived in the U.S. intermittently from 1978 to 2001.[5] She has two sisters and two brothers, among them younger brother Peter Fakhourie, who is also a JLP political candidate.[12] She is married to Tyrone Robinson, who also serves as her campaign manager.[13][14] Her favourite author is Maya Angelou.[2]


  1. ^ "Members of Parliament" (PDF). Jamaica Information Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Similar but different stripes: Shahine Robinson and Maxine Henry-Wilson". Jamaica Gleaner. 18 June 2007. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  3. ^ Virtue, Erica (9 January 2011). "Another challenge to Shahine". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Shahine Surprised By Appointment To Transport And Works Ministry". Jamaica Gleaner. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Shahine Documents Prove US Citizenship Renounced". Jamaica Gleaner. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Shahine faces huge bill". Jamaica Gleaner. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Allegiance action brought against Shahine". Jamaica Gleaner. 6 September 2007. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  8. ^ a b Gayle, Barbara (3 November 2011). "Lawyers begin Shahine Robinson legal cost case". Go Jamaica. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Shahine Robinson to be sworn in today". Go Jamaica. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  10. ^ Gayle, Barbara (13 December 2012). "Shahine Served With Bankruptcy Notice". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  11. ^ Henry, Paul (9 April 2013). "Shahine to pay $4m in dual citizenship suit". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Fakhouries vouch for peace - Sister and baby brother look to go one-two in St Ann". Jamaica Gleaner. 23 July 2007. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Security set for NE St Ann by-election". Go Jamaica. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  14. ^ Ellington, Barbara (22 May 2011). "Dawn and Lee's Nuptials: perfection at Prospect Plantation". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 12 May 2012.