House to Hold Popular Consultations on Dual Citizenship, Landownership Bills

16
2243

Easter break extended by one week

Members of the House of Representatives have agreed to unprecedentedly add one week to their traditionally two-week’s Easter Break to have a face-to-face with their respective constituents about the ‘controversial’ Dual Citizenship and Landownership Bills.

The constituents’ meeting is intended to help lawmakers make an informed decision on a growing controversial  issue currently the subject of intense public debates. Some legislators have already raised questions about the granting of citizenship to non Negros and have openly expressed opposition to it.

On the other hand, some legislators share President Weah’s opinion that the Constitutional clause restricting citizenship to individuals of Negro descent is racist and needs to be scrapped.

Whatever the case, in the final analysis the matter must be decided by the sovereign will of the people expressed through a national referendum. Similar past attempts to rescind this Constitutional provision have ended in failure, the most recent being the referendum of 2011 in which the proposal to amend the Constitution in favor of citizenship for individuals of non Negro descent was trashed at the polls.

At this stage, it is not known whether costs associated with the extra week of consultations are being underwritten by Government funding as had been in the past, or whether Legislators themselves are shouldering the costs of the consultations, given the current economic downturn.

However on Thursday, March 22, 2018, during the 19th day sitting, House’s Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers formally adjourned session for three weeks, comprising the two-week Easter Break and one-week Constituency Meeting.

The Easter Break is in consonance with the timetable of the House Rules and Procedures, which states that the Legislature is entitled to two breaks, Easter and Annual Breaks.

The House Rules and Procedure specifically indicates  that the Annual Break begins September 1 of every year, while according to Article 32 of the Constitution,  the Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.

Yesterday’s adjournment marked the first formal break in observance of Easter for the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, the most important and oldest festival of the Christian church, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The House will resume work on Thursday, April 12, 2018 and discussions on the proposed amendments are expected to resume in earnest.

The titles for the four resolutions for discussions and passage are Citizenship Amendment, Property Amendment, Qualifications I Amendment, and Qualification II Amendment.

The Four Resolutions

The Citizen Amendment is aimed at removing the “discriminatory” Negro clause and open citizenship to any race, while at the same time defining natural born Liberians and allowing them to have dual citizenship. The amendment will upset Articles 27 and 28 of the Liberian Constitution.

The purpose for the amendment of the Property Amendment is to allow non-citizens of Liberia to own property, with certain restrictions. The Amendment will affect Article 22, in which the entire Article 22 will be deleted and a new Article 22 will be written as “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to own property, as well as in association with others.”

Also, “Non-Liberians may own property under the restrictions,” and Qualification I Amendment is intended to restrict certain elected offices to natural born Liberian citizens as the term may be defined in the constitution. The amendment will be done in Article 30 and is rewritten: “Natural born citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature.”

In addition to the restriction of only natural born citizens to be eligible to become members of the Legislature, Qualification II Amendment is also restricting the appointment of Supreme Court justices to natural born citizens. This amendment will be done in Article 68.

16 COMMENTS

  1. What about re-visiting all the concessions agreement/contracts? Reducing those huge salaries and use the money to help those in the constituents? Why not use that time to see how the concession agreements are affecting people in for example, Grand Kru County, Grand Cape Mount County?

    Why not use that time to see whether or not these concession agreements/contracts are actually benefiting rural communities and the Country at large? Why in rush of this citizenship bills and land issue. Nobody in Maryland County can tell me that I am not from there.
    I was born under the biggest Cotton tree in Cape Palmas, like many others, so there is no need to make any bills about this.
    Liberians from the diaspora come home and joined their family directly or indirectly or work directly in Government. This is not an issue, except the Legislature want to buy time to focus on things that are not really important.
    You guys bear the greatest responsibility in moving Liberia forward, not President George Manneh Weah. These bills are not in Liberia best interest, but in the interests of those Non-Negro: Lebanese, Indians, Chinese, and other foreigners. Why this is so important now, is it because some people are getting some petit cash or bribery to make this deal fast? We don not see this as putting Liberia first.

    South Africans are today spectators or back-benchers in their own Country. Robert G. Mugabe, Africa only giant, had to kick out the whites people who were enslaving them on their Ancestral land out of Zimbabwe. It was hard in the beginning, but today Zimbabwe is gradually gaining confidence and building itself again. No one can develop without land. That fact is where do you do our deveopment?

    Infact can you have a town, a family, a property if you had sold out all your Ancestral land to white people? How can our people be so stupid and think very short. I see why George Bush brought in boxes of old books for Liberians to be reading, so as to gain some knowledge about what really happening in the World.

    There is land conflicts all around us even in Liberia itself as we speak. Why these guys can not first and foremost see reason to start re-viewing all the concession agreements/contrats that they thereby signed during the Sirleaf 12 consecutive years of President Sirleaf regime that is not actually in the best interest of Liberian schools children, environment and economic?

    Why can`t they see reason to reduced their salaries to for example help to build a clinic in Grand Kru?
    Look, we have serious national issues! Let our legislature stop taking petit petit money/bribes from these foreigners in the name of investment and development that is for their personal interests.

    We will resist any land sale in the South East. The Grebo people will resist any land sale by any means available to us!
    We met the land there because it was protected by our Ancestral and we are obligated to protect it and leave it for our generation/children not yet to be born. Who are we to sell our Ancestral land?

    • Thanks! It was Greboland; before it became Maryland. It will always be Greboland, “ANCESTRAL LAND” of “THE GREBOES” of Liberia and Ivory Coast/Cote de Voire. Greboland extends far beyond The Cavalla River. Just a REMINDER!

    • Mr. Wahuermo, it’s sad that you’re a racist person. Discriminating against people on account of their race is “racism”, an uncivilized behavior. Some Liberians want to have their cake and eat it too. Diaspora Liberians enjoy property and citizenship rights in other countries but we refuse to reciprocate? It makes no sense. Liberia is member of the international community and we are signatory to treaties that abhors racism and human rights violations, etc. Liberia will be much better off if we welcome good people who want to live with us or become citizens of our country. What’s wrong with that? Why are you afraid of other races? We have a lot to benefit if we open our hearts and minds to others. Don’t be a racist!

      • Please name the Liberians that own property in Lebanon, India and China.

        If it’s reciprocity you seek then I’m all for giving it to those country’s who allows Negros to own property and have anti discrimination laws in place.

        You don’t hear ppl from those countries complaining about not being citizens of Liberia because they don’t care. The Lebanese, Indians and Chinese’s only want to exploit Liberia, and I see many Liberians are here for the exploition.

  2. Is this the main reasons we elected President Weah to please foreign nationals instead of working in the people’s interest? Please, Honorable Legislators, we are not interested in these clauses or amendments while we (poor citizens) are still living in adject poverty. We ask that these proposals be trashed and never be returned to that building for any discussion. please work in the citizens’ interest and leave this George Weah self interest. This is not a pro-poor agenda but a complete fun to us as citizens.

    • A constitution reflects the values of its people but I’m not sure we want to be part of a dubious handful of countries that practice constitutional racism. I can understand the inferiority complex of most Liberians but I think having people of other races as citizens will help our country because these people will contribute to the building of the country. Racism is evil and we should get rid of it.

    • Yes, it is. George Weah as shown that his priority is foreigner and not the Liberian ppl who elected him.

      I hope Liberians remember this when it’s election time.

  3. Why not debate the reduction of the salaries and other benefits of the Legislature to increase those of teachers and nurses first and foremost? Why not debate the re-viewing of all cencession agreements/contracts signed during the 12 consecutive years of Sirleaf`s regime that are not in the best interest of those in road cut off Counties like for example, Grand Krun County, River Gee, Lofa County, and other Constituents and rural communities?

    Why not debate how to arrest those that had stolen millions from the poor masses over the years and how to get those assets back to help build or rebuild Mama Liberia and our society? Do not fool yourself, only Liberians themselves can actually develop Liberia. China, Ghana, Rwanda are all being built and develop by they themselves.

    Rwanda, Botswana, Mauritus et al., are developing on traditional basis. I think our Legislature is either confused or do not have Country at heart nationalistically speaking, if they do not really know what to be targetting at this very “critical junctures”. Making Non-Negro: Mainly Lebanese, Indians, Chinese amongst other citizens will only bring more harm to Liberia.
    Let considered generation to come in everything we do today. Why Liberians always refusing to do the right thing, when in fact they know where the problem is? For example, Rwanda had to kick out the whites (French) in order to develop, and again, Liberia has more resources and less human beings (Population as compared to Rwanda), so why should people keep playing smart games and lying to ourselves? I am getting sick of the way people condering themselves in Liberia due to poor thinking! To remind you, Slavery is over!

    • Why debate and tackle Liberians real problem. Because that would take work, thought and care. This foreign citizens debate is a distraction.

      Shame on George Weah and all the other Useless politicians in bed with the Lebanese, Indians and Chinese. Shame.

  4. We are already slave in our own country, we do not need lawmakers to pass a bill that will make it law, they are looking for short term and individual gains. They are not thinking about the future generations. Only Liberian can develop Liberia, other will only take out our resources and build their countries, build fence around the land that they own in Liberia to keep us out. It is time for our lawmakers to think about the future generations.

    • You feel like a slave because you don’t have economic opportunities to live a better life and I understand that and it’s sad. As a human being I would never steal from my own people to enrich myself because I believe it’s immoral. What the ruling elites have done to our country is nothing less than a crime. They’re very selfish and narcissistic. The Asians learned from others, the Americans, and Europeans how to develop their countries so their peoples can live a good and happy life. For us Africans, we have not learned anything. This is the 21st century and Africa is still very poor with all the resources we have. That’s because our leaders are corrupt and lack morality. So, you have nothing to lose by allowing non-black people to become citizens. You know how palm butter or pepper soup taste better when you add more ingredients to the pot, the same will happen when non-black people become citizens. Our people will not see them as foreigners as they do now. They will want to imitate their ingenuity on how to build successful companies and things like that. We might even have white doctors coming to Liberia to open their practice and live if he can buy land and build a home for his family. The Lebanese merchants will stop living above their stores and they will buy land and build mansions for their families. These are good things that will add more money to the economy so let’s support President Weah’s vision.

      • @ Phill

        You really lack basic comprehension skills and truly see the Lebanese, Indian and Chinese as savers. Well, let me break it down for you.

        If nonblacks are granted citizenship, they will bring more of their country ppl to Liberia to enjoy the ” economy”. Create more business, where they will only employ their family members or Nonblacks because there will be more of them. They will shop and spend their money in mostly Nonblack stores because that’s who will own all the stores in Liberia.

        Tell me how does that add to Liberia’s economy when the money is going to stay in the non-black community and never leave.

        Also Asians built their country, by themselves. Europeans and American used slaves labor to build their countries.

        Liberians have everything to lose by allowing non-blacks to become citizens.

        Allowing Lebanese, Indians, and Chinese to become citizens will have a horrible effect on Liberia and Liberians. Just ask Ghanaians, Ivorians, Togolese, South Africans, and other African how life is in their country with non-blacks being citizens.

        The majority of the population is still living below the poverty line or on less $2 a day. Unemployment is still high in all these African countries. Corruption is still outrageously high and never dealt with. There are no benefits Liberians receive by letting nonblacks become citizens, only disadvantages.

  5. The issue of dual citizenship is an issue that needs to be debated and finalized. Natives of Liberia who have chosen citizenship in other countries and choose to still remain Liberians should not be stripped of that inherent right. To any Liberian, what reasons would get suggest for not allowing dual citizenship rights. Except, One’s pledge of loyalty to another nation. What might we want to define loyalty as? I say I love Liberia? We all love Liberia. Is it about making contributions to Liberia’s growth and development? People far and near have done that and will continue to work towards Liberia being a beloved country. People who have taken up citizenship in other countries continues to invest in Liberia’s growth and well-being. Another thing i like us to ponder, It is the issue of jobs? Like we all continue to say, “People from overseas taking Liberian jobs? Government job? Really? What else could the reason be.
    There are hundreds of thousands of Liberians out here that care for Liberia because they have families in Liberia.
    Allow dual citizenship and let it be a part of the Law that Liberians with dual citizenship rights cannot run for higher offices in government.
    Make it a law that all working Liberians, home and away must pay tax to have a say in national building issues
    Make a law that will tax remittances to Liberia, in that way people sending monies to families can also benefit the nation which I think is already happening, make it a law.
    Dual citizenship is a good thing.

    • Liberians are their own worst enemy. Why would our own families reject us because we live in another country and have taken citizenship there? Doesn’t living and working in these countries allow us to send millions of dollars of our hard earned money to Liberia every month? Shouldn’t they encourage us to do more by united us as one people? I’m sorry but there are too many dumb people in Liberia.

  6. If you cannot make money in your own nation, what benefit will it be to go and become a third partner in another country to upgrade their currency on free trade? How would you see the value of your labor if you keep giving your own people free money and not allowing them to see the worth of working for their own money through mutual trade? Go Home and work or invest in your people and do not depend on duals or naturalization to impact the distance of the force you naturally can only own in Liberia if you are actually a Liberian. Without a contact of Liberian force in goods and services, your Labor is in vain. Fair trade is the ground work of top numbers. Liberians can no longer 97 to foreign traders for 3% while downgrading your own currency? Let the rest of the people know, if you say you are Liberian. Do not reply my block. Gone to silent majority.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here