Sierra Leone’s government is making moves to allow dual citizens be deemed qualified to run for office as Members of Parliament.
Sierra Leone’s laws do not currently allow for that with critics saying it deprives the country of competent human resources who can serve in various leadership positions including lawmaking.
President Julius Maada Bio said in a tweet on Wednesday that his “Government has just approved and authorised the Attorney General to lay in parliament a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Sierra Leone that will allow dual citizens to be qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament.”
Another promise made and delivered! My Government has just approved and authorised the Attorney General to lay in parliament a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Sierra Leone that will allow dual citizens to be qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament. pic.twitter.com/IVTCexOetz
— President Julius Maada Bio (@PresidentBio) October 27, 2021
Many African countries have laws that do not allow dual citizens to contest for high political and public offices.
Sierra Leone is hoping to make changes to its laws to ensure that many citizens get the chance to contest for political offices.
On social media there have been reactions to this move by the Sierra Leonean government which was a campaign promise.
Thank you for fulfilling some of your promises, but honestly I expect diasporans to bring in investment not fighting for parliamentary positions.
— Senesie Komah (@senesiekomah5) October 27, 2021
Repeal of the obnoxious Part V of the 1965 Public Order Act, removal of death penalty, gender Empowerment Bill, ceasing to be Chancellor of the University, Peace and National Cohesion Commission etc, and now allowing debate on people with dual citizens to be elected to Parliament
— Borbor Bockarie (@BorborBockarie) October 28, 2021
What is dual citizenship? People born in another country and NATURALISED in Sierra Leone or Sierra Leoneans by birth that are dual citizen in another country, or is it dual citizenship at it entirety? We are moving to steps that I can forsee massive footprint ?.
— Pan-Africanism. Rich Country Poor People ? (@Pwurie) October 28, 2021
This might be a bad legacy for this country, very soon our parliament is going to be flocked by foreigners like the Lebanese. Becareful mr. President!
— Morie Augustine Ngevao (@NgevaoMorie) October 27, 2021
Sierra Leone in recent years has been making efforts to reform its laws including the vote by lawmakers to abolish the death penalty.
Moving forward, offenders sentenced to death will rather have their punishment replaced with life imprisonment.
This has been celebrated by human rights activists who have campaigned for the death penalty to be abolished.