President George M. Weah has signed into law the long-awaited Dual Citizenship Bill, thus allowing Diaspora Liberians who hold citizenship of foreign countries and still maintain their Liberian citizenship.
The Bill was passed by both Houses of the National Legislature following years of concentrated examination, thereby amending the law that automatically nullifies the citizenship of a Liberian who acquires another country’s citizenship.
According to political pundits, the move by the Weah-led Government to sign the much-publicized Dual Citizenship Bill will serve as a boost towards the growth and development of the country.
It can be recalled that recently the Liberian Senate voted “yes” on the passage of the much-anticipated Alien and Nationality Law for dual citizenship of Liberians but with amendments.
The Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Chie immediately set up a six-member committee for conference sitting with members of the House of Representatives to synchronize the different versions of the bill passed by the House of Representatives and Senate.
On Tuesday, the plenary of the House of Representatives endorsed a Senate Conference Committee on “An Act to Amend and/or Nullify Certain Provisions of the Alien and Nationality Law Relating to Citizenship and Restoring the Citizenship Rights Lost as a Consequence of those Provisions.”
The House’s Plenary endorsed a joint Conference Committee report thereby granting dual citizenship but with limitations on a Liberian citizen who holds the citizenship of another country.
According to the report, a Liberian citizen who holds the citizenship of another country shall not be eligible for any elective public office while still a citizen of another country.
Should such a person desire to contest for elective public office, the law mandates that the person must renounce the citizenship of the other country at least one (1) year prior to applying to the National Elections Commission to contest for an elective public office and documentary evidence of such renunciation of citizenship of the other country shall be filed with a Circuit Court in Liberia and with the National Elections Commission at least one (1) year before application to the National Elections Commission to contest for elective public office.
The amendment also highlights limitations on appointment to certain public offices.
A Liberian citizen, who holds the citizenship of another country, shall not be eligible for appointment to the public office of Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Minister of Defense and Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.