By Legislative Corespondent
Capitol Hill, Liberia: The plenary of the Liberian Senate has unanimously voted to pass the dual citizenship bill, thereby amending the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia.
The amended portion of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia are, Part 3, Chapter 20, Sections 20.1, 188.8.131.52 and 20.52, Chapter 22, Sections 20.2, 20.3 and 20.4.
The Senate’s decision was triggered by a recommendation contained in a report from the Senate’s Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims & Petition to Plenary as well as consultations held by Senators with constituents during their first constituency break.
The Judiciary Committee Report noted that there are lots of benefits for allowing dual citizenship, which has already been practiced in other African countries.
According to the Committee, those who left the country due to war and other reasons may come back to Liberia to bring personal resources (financial) to be invested in the country, noting that no law should alienate a Liberian citizen by birth either because of one of the parents being a Liberian citizen by birth.
The Senate’s Judiciary Committee
recommended that law be be enacted, furthering that if it is observed that the instrument is being abused or misused “those involved should be punished”.
As amended, a Liberian with two Liberian parents will not loose his or her citizenship for being a citizen of another Country.
According to Senate, such matter is not addressed in the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, noting that, amending the Alien and Nationality Law by the Legislature is the surest way to address the matter.
Earlier, the bill was passed by the House of Representatives and forwarded to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.
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 to the Committee.