The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD) has congratulated President-elect Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai for his triumph in the November 14, 2023, Presidential Runoff Election.
According to the National Elections Commission (NEC), of the 1,634,183 Liberians who voted in the Runoff Election, former Vice President Boakai got 814,481 (50.64%) votes, while President George Manneh Weah obtained 793,914 (49.36%) votes.
In their congratulation, ALCOD’s Eminent Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel S. Wettee, said the President-elect has been a longtime advocate for dual citizenship and Liberians on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Between 2006 and 2008, then VP Boakai joined The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) to advocate for Liberians on TPS/DED, to be granted Permanent Residence status in the US. According to him, Vice President Boakai continued this immigration advocacy beyond 2008 and whenever he was in the US, he met with city, state and federal officials in Rhode Island, Minnesota, and other states to make the case for Liberians. “Liberians on TPS/DED then are now benefiting from Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) and becoming Permanent Residents. Other Liberians benefiting from LRIF are those continuously present in the United States of America since November 20th, 2014,” Eminent Wettee further stated.
Because of his leadership role in advocating for his fellow Liberians in the diaspora for dual citizenship, ALCOD made President-elect Boakai their “2017 DIASPORA PERSON OF THE YEAR”. Dual citizenship is now the law of the land: “Once A Liberian Always A Liberian” is a reality.
He disclosed that ALCOD will work closely with the Boakai-led Administration on a few things including removing restrictions that are still in the dual citizenship law, out of country voting, Diaspora Free Zone Authority, and more.
Meanwhile, the diaspora Liberian group (ALCOD) has heaped commendations on President Weah for graciously conceding to President-elect Boakai when the presidential race was very close to call.
“On November 17th, 2023, President George Weah joined a unique class of incumbent leaders, who have conceded defeat in democratic election. By extension Liberia has joined the United States of America, where incumbent leaders concede defeat and place a call to the President-elects,” ALCOD’s Eminent Chairman Wettee stated.
According to him, the President’s action has birthed a changing narrative of African electioneering politics.
Liberia has an exceptionally long political history of one-party political system, a 14-year civil war and a fragile democratic political system. However, on November 17th, 2023, President Weah changed the narrative by accepting the will of the people. In Third World countries including Liberia, this is not normal.
“The act on the part of President Weah demonstrates his long-standing attributes as a humanitarian and a Man of Peace,” Wettee added.
He extended thanks and appreciation to the President for his leadership and services to all Liberians — in the diaspora and home — irrespective of their political backgrounds, education, and social statuses.
He narrated that President Weah partnered with ALCOD and helped to push the dual citizenship Act until it was passed into law making “Once A Liberian, Always A Liberian” a reality.
“This law is having immediate impact. In the just-ended 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, about 5,000 diaspora Liberians with dual nationalities/citizenships came to Liberia, got their National ID cards, registered to vote, and voted. Diaspora Liberians with dual citizenships are obtaining their Liberian passport in record numbers and using their regular Liberian passport to travel to Liberia without the need of a visa. A child born to the Liberian mother is a Liberian citizen at birth,” Eminent Wettee disclosed.
The advocacy for dual citizenship in Liberia started as far back as 2005 and on July 22, 2022, President Weah signed it into law. President Weah’s effort in passing this dual citizenship law is one of his legacies. And as a result of his advocacies, ALCOD made him their “2023 DIASPORA PERSON OF THE YEAR.”
All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), which includes the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Liberian Advocacy for Change (LAFC), Federation of Liberia Communities in Australia (FOLICA), United Liberian Association of Ghana (ULAG), Liberian Association of Canada (LAC), and Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States of America (CLOSUSA). ALCOD represents more than 500,000 Liberians living in the diaspora and advocating for dual citizenship and out-of-country voting for diaspora Liberians.