Politics

I support dual citizenship holders becoming MPs – NPP MP

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Mpraeso MP, Davis Ansah Opoku and a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says he is in support of dual citizenship holders becoming legislators in Ghana.

People of dual citizenship should not be denied the opportunity to contribute to the development of their country, according to the politician.

“For me, I support and I’m pushing for dual citizens to sit in parliament. That person should not be denied the opportunity to contribute to the development of our country,” he said on JoyNews’ AM show on Monday.

Emphasising his position on the subject, Mr Opoku explained that even the former Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson was a dual citizenship holder; Canadian and US even while serving in that capacity.

“Boris Johnson, he was the Prime Minister of the UK. While serving as PM, he was a US citizen as well. He holds a Canadian citizenship as well as a US citizenship,” he added.

The lawmaker, therefore, said he welcomes the election of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) James Gyakye Quayson who has just won a bye-election.

Mr Gyakye Quayson was ousted from parliament on grounds of being a dual citizenship holder while contesting as a parliamentary candidate in the 2020 election.

This is against the country’s constitution which bars any dual citizenship holders from occupying public offices.

But Mr Opoku says such a provision should be revised to give chance to people to contribute to the growth of the country.

Also speaking on the show, MP for Odododiodio constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also called for a revision of the provision.

He lamented the reliance on old laws on dual citizenship despite parliament having passed new laws on same.

According to him, the times when laws barring dual citizenship holders from occupying public offices were established have changed.

“The times when that law, that constitutional provision was made has changed, whether we like it or not,” he said.

Conversations on dual citizenship holders have evolved recently. People have expressed worry over constitutional provisions which bar persons with such identity from holding public offices.

Many have argued that such persons of which many live in the diaspora contribute hugely to the development of the country and as such must be accorded the support to occupy public offices when they want to.

Presently, a parliamentarian was ousted due to a ruling by a court that he ought not to have contested in the previous general election due to his dual citizenship identity.

The Court, therefore, announced his constituency seat vacant for which a by-election was held subsequently.

Having renounced his Canadian citizenship, Mr Quayson then entered the race once again and won it this time by a higher margin compared to his previous numbers.

Following this, some, including chiefs have advised that the prosecution should be discontinued because according to them, Mr Gyakye Quayson’s re-election is a reiteration of the choice of the constituency.

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