A Fellow of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in Public Law and Justice, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare says the arguments supporting the prohibition of dual citizens from holding some public offices are outdated.
Speaking on Newsfile on JoyNews, he stated that arguments like dual citizens would have divided loyalties, be conflicted when it comes to war and diplomacy, and take jobs away from citizens, among others have been discredited over the years.
“Experience has disconfirmed the fears because since 1996 when we passed the first amendment we have been waiting for these things that dual citizens are supposed to do and nothing has happened.”
“We haven’t seen any dual citizen betray the country, serving two masters and others, so we have a natural experiment and we have longitudinal data from 1996 to now to show that these fears are not just hypothetical but they indeed have not materialised.”
Prof Asare stated that these arguments were used to outlaw dual citizenship in the 1992 constitution.
“If you look at the list you will see that this is an old and discredited argument…however, parliament revisited this problem and said look these reasons do not hold water and therefore let us amend the constitution and allow people to hold other citizenship.”
“It’s hard to understand how divided loyalties apply to many of the positions. For instance, are we arguing that the Special Prosecutor will not be able to go after corrupt people because of their shared citizenship of a foreign country?
“The reality is that most professionals gave different loyalties to tribe, religion and others but can discharge their professional duty without allowing these allegiances to get in their way.”
This comes after former President John Mahama promised to review the constitutional provision that prevents Ghanaians with dual citizenship from holding political positions in the country.
According to him, such a law cannot be allowed to remain in the current scheme of things.
Mr Mahama insisted that the law hurts the country’s human resources and must not be allowed to fester any longer.
However, a Political Scientist at the University of Ghana, Dr Kwame Asah-Asante defended the constitutional provision that prevents Ghanaians with dual citizenship from holding political positions in the country.
Dr Asah-Asante said Ghana does not have strong institutions or systems to monitor and keep in check dual citizens who are allowed to hold sensitive positions.
These positions, he said include the President, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Armed Forces, Inspector General of Police and Director of Immigration among others.
According to him, although some countries are comfortable allowing dual citizens to hold certain positions, Ghana is not ready.
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