Liberia joins the list of nations accepting dual citizenship
Monrovia, 20 July 2022 (AFP) – Both the senate and the House of Representatives in Liberia on Tuesday passed the bill allowing dual citizenship in the West African nations where, despite being created by ex-slaves coming from America, had, since its independence in 1847, prohibited dual citizenship.
Early in the afternoon at the lower House, 20 Representatives voted for the dual citizenship while only one voted against.
Few hours later, the Senate followed suit with 23 senators voting for the bill and 2 abstained to vote.
With this amendment to the naturalization law in Liberia, Liberians can now remain Liberians after they have acquired any nationality, as the new legislation suggests that “Once a Liberian is always a Liberian.”
This measure was not possible a few days ago, as it was illegal in Liberia to possess dual citizenship.
As result, Liberians living in the diaspora who had naturalized in America, Europe or any part of the world, could no longer repossess a Liberian passport, thus making them stranger in their land of birth.
With the new law those who apply for dual citizenship are barred from holding crucial posts affecting national security, law enforcement, and the economy, as is the case in many African nations with comparable legislation.
“If such a person desires to contest, the person must renounce the citizenship of the other country at least one year before applying to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to contest with documentary evidence of such renunciation from the country and filed with a circuit court in Liberia.” Says the new law.
“Also, a Liberian citizen who holds the citizenship of another country must not be eligible for appointment to the public offices of Minister of Finance and Development Planning; Minister of Defense, and Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.” It says.
According to the new law,…“any person who is a negro or of negro descent, born in Liberia and a person born outside of the country, whose father and mother were either born a citizen of Liberia or was a citizen of Liberia at the time of birth, such a person is qualified to be a citizen. A person under the age of 18 years, whose natural biological parents are not citizens of Liberia but who is adopted by a citizen of Liberia, shall automatically become a citizen of Liberia by virtue of such adoption if such person is a negro or of a negro descent. A person of negro descent who marries a Liberian citizen “shall become a citizen of Liberia by virtue of such marriage without affecting that person’s citizenship before marriage. Such a person needs only to appear before a Liberian consul in any country or before a circuit Judge in Liberia and take an oath of allegiance.”