House To Concur with Senate on Tenure Reduction, Dual Citizenship, Elections Date Today

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The Capitol home of the Legislature

The House of Representatives is considering concurrence with the Senate to pass three (3) constitutional propositions in accordance with Article 91 of the 1986 Constitution on Today (Monday, September 30).

The Senate unanimously voted to approve the reduction of terms for the President, Vice President and members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; the dual citizenship clause; and the date of elections and forwarded the communication to the House of Representatives since September 24, which are still in the House’s committee room.

During a rare Saturday session, which was the 21st Day Special Sitting, the Acting Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Kanie Wesso of Gbarpolu County District #2, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the Committee is ‘concluding’ its recommendation to the House’s Plenary for concurrence, which is expected to be approved on Monday, September 30.

The three (3) approved Senate propositions include The Dual Citizenship Clause (Article 28) — as Proposition 1; Reduction of Tenure of the President, Vice President, and members of the Legislature (Articles 46, 47, 48, 49 & 50) — Proposition 2; and the Date of Election (Article 83 (a) & (c) — as Proposition 3.

According to the Senate’s version; any person, at least one of whose parents was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the person’s birth, shall be a natural born citizen of Liberia; a natural born citizen’s right to citizenship of Liberia is inherent and inalienable; no law shall be enacted or regulation promulgated which deprives a natural born of the Republic of his/her citizenship right; and any law or regulation which alienates or deprives a natural born of the Republic of his/her citizen right is null and void ab initio.

“A natural born citizen of Liberia may hold the citizenship of another country but shall not qualify for elected positions and the following appointed positions: Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia; Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers; all heads of Autonomous Commissions, Agencies and Non-Academic/Research/Scientific Institutions and Ambassadors,” the Senate’s version said.

Also, the Senate has unanimously voted for the Reduction of Tenures of the President, Vice President and members of the Legislature.

The President, Vice President and members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of five (5) years, and all Senators shall be elected for the term of seven (7) years, the Senate recommends.

The Speaker and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall also be elected once every five years.

As for the change of the date of elections, voting for the President, Vice President, Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the Second Tuesday in November of each election year.

And also, the Senate has agreed that Elections Commission shall, within fifteen days of receipt of a complaint, conduct an impartial investigation and render a decision which may involve a dismissal of the complaint or a nullification of the election of a candidate. Any political party or independent candidate affected by such decision shall not later than seven days appeal against it to the Supreme Court.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Great news from Liberian lawmakers on the correction of a terrible law concerning the loss of citizenship by the the gaining of same in another country. What both the writers of the 1847 and 1986 Constitution did was simply grotesque and lawless when they took upon themselves to alienate a natural born Liberian from a birthright granted only by God!

    Personally, I absolutely have no bones to pick with regard to what government jobs dual-citizenship holders are precluded from holding. Others may differ on this, which I think is their right. But considering the absolute pervasive lawless abandon and reckless disregard for the rule of by your average elected or appointed official, most people can really make an impact in the private sector.

  2. @L.Wuanti… I think it is a fine preposition. A Liberian born abroad is likely to continue to have loyalty to that country of birth despite their Liberianization through one parent (s).

    So giving the chance to serve in govt but only lower level posts prevents corruption…in case someone where to corrupt the system and flee to their other home countries.
    if such person is not sent back to liberia for prosecution like in the case of most Liberians..with dual citizenships then govt loses the ability to get hold of such person. so it’s great to have them serve but in position of no highest powers.

    • I’m in total agreement with you, Lloyd. Such limits are really necessary to also minimize issues that arise pertaining to conflict of interest, particularly, for elected positions. Where the diaspora individuals are really needed is in the private sector where they can put their skills to work in terms of improving the economy.

  3. If this law passes, then many of the children born to Liberians in the diaspora will call Liberia home. Liberia will welcome them home and they will contribute to the building of our nation. It’s a win-win for all. This is a first step, however. Thank God.

  4. Wonderful and welcome news indeed.

    My great appreciation to you; the great Senators of the Republic of Liberia.

    BRAVO!!!!!!!

    Come now Members of the House of Representatives and play you rightful role in the interest of the Republic of Liberia.

    God bless!!!

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