House of Representatives Passes Acarous Gray’s Dual Citizenship Bill

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Monrovia — The House of Representatives has passed into law Montserrado County District #8 Representative, Mr. Acarous Moses Gray’s Dual citizenship bill that he recently introduced in House.

The House will now sent their version to the Senate for concurrence.

Rep. Gray’s bill, which was co-sponsored by 30 of his colleagues, including Deputy House Speaker Jonathan Fonati Koffa in the HOR, was intended to amend and or repeal some parts of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia.

Specially, the bill sought to repeal 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.”

The Montserrado County lawmaker 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.

The HOR passed the bill into law on Thursday, Nov. 11, and is expected to be sent to the Senate for concurrence. There are reports that Rep. Gray, who is a very staunch member of President George Weah’s ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), had scripted on his bill: “Once a Liberian always a Liberian.”

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 bill that Rep. Gray championed in the HOR, 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.

The CDC stalwart had submitted his version few days after it was published in the media, in late October, that some diaspora Liberians had become fed up with “lack of action and will” from Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon and had urged the Senator to withdraw similar bill that he had submitted with his colleagues, in the Senate, for legislative enactment.

The speed with which Rep. Gray’s bill picked up, far outweighs that of Sen. Dillon, who had submitted his version in March of 2021, and it was sent into committee room for perusal and advise to plenary but nothing tangible was done about it but “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 was the lead sponsor behind the bill, it was 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, ALCOD has extended their thanks and appreciation to all the 73 members of the HOR, including the Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, Deputy Speaker, Mr. Koffa and Rep. Gray for doing all to make some of their fellow Liberians in the diaspora, to still maintain their Liberian citizenship even though they (diaspora Liberians) also carry the passports of other nations.

The ALCOD members are appealing to the Senate to concur with the HOR when the House sends their version to them for passage into law.

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