Liberians can apply for dual citizenship, says Supreme Court

By Darlington Porkpa in Monrovia - RFI
Liberia Photo: Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP
OCT 20, 2021 LISTEN
Photo: Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP

The Supreme Court of Liberia has quashed a law that automatically takes away the citizenship of any Liberian who acquires another nationality. The decision is considered a win for the Weah administration.

The case follows a petition filed by Alvin Teage Jalloh who challenged the constitutionality of parts of the Alien and Nationality Law.

The Liberian Embassy in Washington refused to issue Jalloh travel documents to travel to Liberia because he had become an American citizen.

Weah had opted to legalize dual citizenship in the 2020 referendum, but opposition leaders called on their supporters to reject the proposition, ultimately scuppering the bill.

“The court's decision is a fulfillment of the long-held desire to ensure Liberians of all persuasions, who left the country due to the civil war, are not deprived of their rights and privileges in the land they regard as home. This is Victory for all Liberians,” said Weah said in a statement.

Mixed reactions
Reactions were mixed on the streets of Monrovia, the capital, after the announcement. Student Varney Hilton believes that the fight against the legalization of dual citizenship is not over.

Those against are likely to go to court to challenge dual citizens seeking Liberian citizenship status.

Those in the diaspora who had lobbied with Weah to accept dual citizenship are looking forward to allying for their Liberian passports again.

“We are now calling on our brothers and sisters in the diaspora …who took up citizenship…now have the right to return” to regain their Liberian documents, says Emmanuel S. Wettee, Chairman of the All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship.

For others, such as those who live in the rural areas, the fear of land grabbing is a major concern.

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