Senate Citizenship Requiremsent: The Case of Robert Sirleaf & George Weah
Recent, national entertainment that has become the “talk of the town” (Monrovia) is the competitive, political contest between Mr. George Weah and Mr. Robert Sirleaf for the Montserrado County, Senate seat; particularly, on July 15, 2014: the FrontPageAfrica, “George Weah Vs. Rob Sirleaf”; The New Dawn, “Robert Sirleaf battles Weah”; and The Analyst Liberia, “Petition (to stand for the senate) is in Rob’s Hands”.
This passionate, vibrant contest, apparently consistent with open, competitive, multi-party, pluralistic, political process raises serious questions, as it should and must, about the citizenship of these prominent, Liberian contestants for the Liberian Senate. These important questions arises not only that Liberian Law prohibits dual citizenship (Liberian citizen who is naturalized citizen, simultaneously, of a foreign country) in general, but also because Article 30 of the Liberian Constitution (1986), in specific terms, provides that only “Citizens of Liberia . . . are eligible to become members of the (National) Legislature”; that the Liberian nation professes and often quotes the maxim that “Liberia is a country of Laws, not of persons”; and that the questions call into question the willingness of and by Liberia and Liberians to respect and abide by law and commitments to which the Nation subscribes.
Cases in point are (1), that Mr. Robert Sirleaf, Businessperson, Philanthropist and son of the current, sitting President of the nation, has been and is accused of being citizen of the United States with an identified, numbered passport; while (2), Mr. George Weah, the Soccer Legend turned-politician and Political Leader of the political party, Congress for Democratic Change, was accused of being a French citizen during the 2005, general elections but the accusation was treated with “kid gloves” by the-then NEC, without an open, definitive resolution; now Mr. Weah is accused of being citizen of the United States with a posted, US passport with a photograph of Mr. Weah.
Evidence of or against US Citizenship
Supporters/representatives of these prominent Liberians took to the media – radio waves and the printed newspapers – in defense of their candidates only with attacks on opponents. While this is a reasonably-expected line of approach, it lacks the required legal and moral sufficiency for election to the National Legislature. For, it is necessary not only to hear from the candidates, themselves (proverbial “cold water from the alligator’s mouth), but also to provide the best, available, documentary evidence – depositions under oath, certified statement from the US Department of State through representatives here in Monrovia, etc.
The questions, raised about the citizenship of these prominent citizens of the Republic, are a matter of Law that must be answered; silence or non-direct answer is not an option.