Ruling Stalwart Joins Diaspora Liberians in Dual Citizenship Fight

Monrovia — Representative Acarous Moses Gray of Montserrado County District #8 has written his colleagues in the House of Representatives, asking their consideration to ‘amend’ and or ‘repeal’ some parts of the Aliens and Nationality Law.

Rep. Gray said before asking them, he had given “due consideration to the spirit and intent of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.”

“It is against this backdrop that I humbly submit to you, Honorable Speaker and Distinguished Colleagues, for legislative enactment consideration by way of amendment and or repealing of the existing law through a proposed Bill titled, “An Act to Amend Part III, Chapter 20, Section 20.1; Chapter 21, Sections 21.30, 21.31, 21.51 & 21.52 and Chapter 22, Sections 22.1, 22.1 & 22.4 of the Aliens and Nationality Law of the Liberian Code of Law Revised, Vol. II.”

Rep. Gray, who is the Chairman on the House’s Committee on Executive, believes that this will satisfy the constitutional provision in Article 2 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution, which states, “… Any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees customs and regulations found to be inconsistent with it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect…”

The Montserrado County lawmaker who is being backed by 30 of his colleagues in the House as ‘co-sponsors’ including Deputy Speaker Jonathan Fonati Koffa, submitted the Bill on Friday, October 29, and it was read on the House’s floor on Tuesday, November 2nd, and forwarded to the Committee on Judiciary to report back to Plenary within one week.

Rep. Gray, who is a staunch and senior member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Weah, is the “Chief Sponsor” of the Bill for the amendment.

The bill that Rep. Gray is championing was done under the auspices of The All-Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship (ALCOD), which includes the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Liberian Advocacy for Change (LAFC), Federation of Liberia Communities in Australia (FLCA), United Liberian Association of Ghana (ULAG), Liberian Association of Canada (LAC), and Conference of Liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States of America (CLOSUSA). ALCOD represents more than 500,000 Liberians living in the diaspora. 

Rep. Gray’s submission comes few days after it was published in the media that some diaspora Liberians, who became fed up with “lack of action and will”, had called on Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon to withdraw similar bill that he had submitted with his colleagues, in the Senate, for legislative enactment.

The speed with which Rep. Gray’s submission has picked up, far outweighs that of Sen. Dillon, who according to legislative sources, submitted his version in March of 2021 and it was sent into committee room for perusal and advise to plenary but nothing tangible has been done about it but “It is only gathering dusts on the shelf,” some dissatisfied diaspora Liberians stated.

Some of Sen Dillon’s Senate colleagues had confided in some journalists that as long it was Senator Dillon who submitted and is the lead sponsor behind the bill, it is going to “die naturally”. Their main reason is that Sen. Dillon was one of those who led a massive campaign during the December 2020 Special Senatorial Election against similar proposal on dual citizenship and that because of such anti-campaign, the proposed amendment to this provision in the Liberian Constitution was rejected by the voters.

Meanwhile, members of ALCOD have extended their thanks and appreciation to President Weah, who had, among eight other proposals for amendment in the December 2020 Special Senatorial Election, included the dual citizenship proposal for amendment. “The President still continues to support our effort for dual citizenship today. It is our wish that he will support the Rep. Gray-sponsored bill.”

The ALCOD members also thanked the Speaker and Members of the House for their support for dual citizenship. They have also thanked Senators Varney Sherman, Abraham Darius Dillon, who had submitted similar bills in the Senate for passage.

These diaspora-based Liberians hope that when the bill passes through the House, it will be concorded in the Senate.

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