Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
By Rodney Sieh
Monrovia – Diaspora-based Liberians are weighing in on a controversial version of the Dual Citizenship Clause proposed by the upper house of the National Legislature.
The most controversial component of the Senate proposition deals with the issue of jobs: “A natural-born citizen of Liberia may hold the citizenship of another country but shall not qualify for elected positions and the following appointed positions: Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia; Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers; all heads of Autonomous Commissions, Agencies and Non-Academic/Research/Scientific Institutions and Ambassadors.”
Article 28 of the Liberian constitution states: “Any person, at least one of whose parents was citizen of Liberia at the time of the person’s birth, shall be a citizen of Liberia; provided that any such person shall upon reaching maturity renounce any other citizenship acquired by virtue of one parent being a citizen of another country. No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality except as provided by law; and no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality.”
The Senate version states: “Any person, at least one of whose parents was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the person’s birth, shall be a natural-born citizen of Liberia; a natural-born citizen’s right to citizenship of Liberia is inherent and inalienable; no law shall be enacted or regulation promulgated which deprives a natural born of the Republic of his/her citizenship right; and any law or regulation which alienates or deprives a natural born of the Republic of his/her rights is null and void.
For many Diaspora-based Liberians the Senate may be toeing the line of discrimination and resenting against Liberians who fled the civil war and took up citizenships in the United States and other countries around the world.