“Amended Alien, Nationality Law passed by the legislature, Allowing Dual Citizenship”

Both houses of the Liberian Legislature have passed an amended the Country’s Alien and Nationality Law; legalizing dual citizenship for Liberians and people of Negro-decent. However, the law forbids people with dual citizenship from holding elected positions in the Legislature and certain positions in the Executive including; the Presidency, Central Bank Governor, Finance Minister, and Defense Minister, among others.

The Legislature decision on Tuesday as a result of a conference Committee report submitted by both Houses of the Legislature, recommending the passage of the draft legislation. The bill received huge support in the Senate, with only two Senators abstaining from the vote; while in the House of Representatives, 20 lawmakers voted in favor, one against, and no abstention.

Crafters of the bill noted, that the current law is repugnant to, and is inconsistent with Articles 11 (b) &(C), 27, and 28 relating to equal protection under the law (Fundamental Rights) and citizenship. The crafters also distinguished those inconsistencies, as observed by the committee’s findings, the framers of the 1986 Constitution requested the Legislature to prescribe other standards and criteria, and procedures by which Liberian citizenship may be obtained.

According to them, the amendment of these laws will satisfy the constitutional provision of Article 2 (2) of the 1986 Constitution which states: “Any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees, customs, and regulations found to be inconsistent with it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect. The Supreme Court, pursuant to its power of judicial review, is empowered to declare any inconsistent laws unconstitutional.”

It will now be forwarded to the President for signature, and if he signs, it will automatically take effect upon printing into the handbill.

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