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Diaspora Liberians relieved, as Senate ok’s controversial dual citizenship bill

By Ethel A Tweh

The Liberia Senate Friday, May 20, voted overwhelmingly to pass the much-touted and controversial dual citizenship bill.

The bill seeks to amend Part 3, Chapter 20, Sections 20.1, and 20.52 and Chapter 22, Sections 20.2, 20.3 and 20.4 of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia to provide for dual citizenship. 

Recommendation for the passage of the bill was made by Senate Judiciary Committee headed by Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney G. Sherman in consultations with other senators that the act is passed into law.

The concurrence with the lower House means Liberia will be joining other countries which have since embraced dual citizenship. 

The Committee notes that there are economic benefits that come with dual citizenship, adding that the passage of the bill will now allow Liberians in the diaspora who have taken up other nationalities due to circumstances as a result of the decade-long war could return with their resources and invest same here.

They also added that no law should alienate or divest a Liberian citizen by birth either because of one of the parents being a Liberian citizen by birth.

The Senate Judiciary Committee further recommended that if it is observed that dual citizens are abusing or misusing their citizenship, laws can be enacted to punish those who are abusing or misusing the same.

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The amended law states that a Liberian with two Liberian parents will not lose his or her citizenship for being a citizen of another country.

The Senate said, such a matter is not addressed in the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, therefore, the amendment in the Alien and Nationality Law by the Legislature is the surest means to do so.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives and forwarded to the Liberian Senate for concurrence sometime last year. 

During its deliberations, the Senate made some amendments, thereby subjecting the proposed law to a Conference Committee.

Meanwhile, the Senate has constituted a Conference Committee to liaise with the Conference Committee of the House of Representatives to reconcile the two versions of the amended Act. 

Those appointed are Sen. Varney G. Sherman as Chairman, while Senators Abraham Darius Dillon, Numene T.H. Bartekwa, J. Milton Teahjay and Prince K. Moye are members of the Committee. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/diaspora-liberians-eminent-chairman-lauds-senate-for-passage-of-dual-citizenship-act/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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