Liberia: Dual Citizenship, Land Ownership Bills Delayed before Committees

Published: 19/Mar/2018
Source: Liberian Observer
By Leroy M. Sonpon, III

A permissible campaign to recall the Citizenship and Land Ownership Resolutions from committees’ room has intensified in the Legislature with a credible political will of the Resolutions at the edge of passage. Besides the heat-up in the Legislature, the controversy has also deepened among the student populace in the form of ‘intellectual debates.’

The resolutions are among four that have been in committees’ room for over 30 days, since February 8, 2018 — the 8th day sitting — and the proposition has sparked intense debates across the country.


The Four Resolutions

The Citizen Amendment is aimed to remove the discriminatory negro clause and open citizenship to any race, while at the same time defining natural born Liberians and allowing them to have dual citizenship. The amendment will upset Articles 27 and 28.

The purpose of the amendment of the Property Amendment is to allow non citizens of Liberia to own property with certain restrictions. The Amendment will effect Article 22, in which the entire Articile 22 will be deleted and new Article 22 will be written as “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to own property alone, as well as in association with others” and “Non-Liberians may own property under (the following) restrictions…”

The Qualification I Amendment is intended to restrict certain elected offices to natural born Liberian citizens as the term may be defined in the constitution. The amendment will be done in Article 30 and is rewritten: “Natural born citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature.”

In addition to restriction of only Natural born citizens to be eligible to become members of the Legislature, Qualification II Amendment is also restricting the appointment of the Supreme Court justices to natural born citizens. This amendment will be done in Article 68.


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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Dual Nationality, Nationality of Politicians
Regions: Liberia
Year: 2018