Business in Ghana

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Dual Citizenship vs Dual Allegiance

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 24, 2008

The new game in town is disqualifying Ghanaian nationals from some political offices on grounds that they possess dual citizenship. There is no law in Ghana that disqualifies dual citizens, although there is a law that disqualifies those who owe allegiance to another country. This triggers an obvious question, what is the relationship, if any, between citizenship and allegiance.

Allegiance is a term of art that originates from the common law. Under the common, allegiance was permanent and was determined by nationality. As the old judges used to write “nemo potest exuere patriam,” which simply meant “the bond of nationality once forged could never he broken.” Accordingly, anyone born a British national owed an allegiance to the British crown which he could never resign or lose.

To assume that multiple citizenship means or implies allegiances to multiple countries is plainly wrong. Our laws allow dual citizenship and do not impose any liabilities on dual citizens, who are Ghanaian nationals. Our laws impose occupational liabilities on citizens who owe allegiance to other countries. This latter law cannot be enforced by proxying citizenship for allegiance. 
The wholesale disqualification of people on grounds that they have dual citizenship is unconstitutional and must cease forthwith.

S. Kwaku Asare, “AZAR”

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3 Responses to “Dual Citizenship vs Dual Allegiance”

  1. […] Dual Citizenship vs Dual Allegiance There is no law in Ghana that disqualifies dual citizens, although there is a law that disqualifies those who owe allegiance to another country. This triggers an obvious question, what is the relationship, if any, between citizenship … […]

  2. It is important to have in Ghana’s Parliament lawmakers with various backgrounds and exposure to life in other nations. Therefore, Ghanaians in the Diaspora should not be counted out. I believe that a Diasporian like Dr. Amoako, with his experience and dedication, in the Ghanaian Parliament, will be beneficial to the whole country. I have nothing against the other political aspirants, but please do not advocate his ouster based on his so-called dual citizenship. As stated earlier, Ghana needs to think outside the box for a rapid development and Ghanaians in the Diaspora are excellent human capitals that the nation cannot afford to ignore. Please give Dr. Samuel Amoakoh a chance to compete for the Abuakwa North seat.

  3. Victor said

    Clearly the dual citizenship clause in our constitution is a form of “rent seeking” article. It is inefficient and not equitable. It ensures that Ghanaians coming from outside with all the experience and exposure can only look on from the sideline as some ineffective appointee overwrites them and pushes policy agendas. In Ghana like many other countries with “formal democracies” public opinion does not have as much weight as in countries with “effective democracy” where the citizen’s right is extended beyond the ballot box.
    This needs to be scraped.

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