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Report Lists Dual Nationality Holders Who Have Served in Govt Offices
The News Online
Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Report by Sabir Shah: “Few dual citizens who had clinched key posts world over”

LAHORE: Former Pakistani caretaker Premier Moeen Qureshi, former Canadian Premier John Turner, renowned Hollywood actor and an ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean, the incumbent Estonian president Toomas Ilves, former Lithuanian head of state Valdas Adamkus and the sitting London Mayor Boris Johnson are among the handful of international figures who had gone on to grab top government positions despite holding dual citizenships.

The 81-year old Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi was the Interim Prime Minister of Pakistan from July 18, 1993 until October 19, 1993.

According to numerous prestigious Pakistani media outlets of yore, Qureshi had left the World Bank in 1992 to obtain the permanent residence status in the United States, where he eventually founded Messrs Emerging Markets Partners, a private equity firm focusing on emerging markets investment.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner was born in the United Kingdom and retains his dual citizenship to this day.

Former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had managed to retain his Austrian citizenship during his service as the constitutional head of the US state of California. (Reference: BBC, Jan 22, 2005)

Arnold, an Austrian and American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician, had served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011. In the United States, dual citizenship is not very common among politicians or government employees; however, it does occur.

Michaelle Jean was appointed the Governor General of Canada (viceroy of Queen Elizabeth II) in 2005. She also possessed the nationality of Haiti at the time of her prized appointment in Canada.

Although Jean no longer holds citizenship in her native Haiti, her marriage to a French-born filmmaker had allowed her to obtain French citizenship several years before her appointment.

(Reference: CBC News of September 25, 2005)

Jean also went on to surrender her French citizenship two days before taking up office to avoid any controversy.

The sitting Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the former Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus had both been naturalized US citizens prior to assuming their offices. Both have now relinquished their US citizenship. While President Ilves did it in 1993, President Adamkus had renounced his US citizenship in 1998. This was essential because neither individual`s new country had permitted the retention of a former citizenship.

In 2006, the incumbent London Mayor Boris Johnson had renounced the US citizenship he had acquired on the basis of being born in New York. At the time, Boris was a Member of the British Parliament.

Boris Johnson`s renunciation was actually prompted by US laws which required a US citizen entering the United States to use a US passport, rather than any other passport.

According to UK`s “Daily Express” (August 11, 2006 edition), Boris had dramatically renounced his US citizenship after a heated clash with American immigration officials.

Though dual citizenship offers extra advantages such as social security, unrestricted travel, more employment opportunities and potential career advancements, all countries in the world do not allow their citizens to enjoy the privileges of multiple citizenship. Among the countries that consider multiple citizenship undesirable, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, India, Japan, Singapore and Saudi Arabia etc are the most well known of all.

Though the Indian constitution does not allow dual citizenship, the country had gone on to introduce the Overseas Citizenship of India a few years ago, which stops just short of full dual citizenship and is in all aspects, like Permanent Residency.

A study of Indian immigration laws reveals that under this scheme, nor do the Overseas Citizens get the Indian passport, nor are they allowed to vote. Similarly, they cannot contest elections at any level. It goes without saying that such Overseas Citizens in India also cannot hold constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, and judge of a Supreme Court. High Court or Prime Minister etc.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, a Japanese national having a foreign nationality shall choose either of the nationalities before he or she reaches the age of 22 or within two years after the day when he or she had acquired the second nationality.

The Japanese law clearly states that if he or she failed to choose either of the nationalities, he or she was bound to lose Japanese nationality.

On the other hand, the acquisition of a second citizenship is legally possible for the citizens of countries like Canada, US, Armenia, South Africa, Australia, UK, Italy, Sweden, Egypt, Lebanon, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, Dominica, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Spain (only in certain cases), Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, Switzerland, Syria, Vietnam and Western Samoa etc.

Although possessing a second citizenship is legally possible in Australia, the Constitution of Australia explicitly forbids people who hold foreign citizenship from sitting in the parliament of Australia.

(Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of a widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Usually offers leading news and analysis on issues related to war against terrorism. Circulation estimated at 55,000; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Afghan Paper Says Officials With Dual Citizenship Not To Be Trusted
Saturday, January 28, 2006

Unattributed editorial: “Those holding dual citizenship cannot secure national interests”

When President Karzai was forming his cabinet, the issue of dual nationality was raised by the media because of public criticism. People want those who work for the government, especially cabinet ministers, to renounce their dual citizenship and hold the Afghan nationality alone.

Having been established as the legislative branch of the state, the cabinet (as published, presumably parliament) is now expected to give its vote of confidence to the cabinet in line with the constitution. Parliament has two vital matters to deal with: to vote for each minister individually and to discuss the issue of dual nationality.

We are going through a very sensitive period of reconstruction and need the kind of senior officials who do not believe they and their families are superior to those Afghans who are living in the country. They should carry out their national duties, having national thoughts in mind and they should renounce their foreign nationality.

If our ministers think of themselves as Afghans and feel that they are responsible for the reconstructing of the country, it is their duty to live with other Afghans in Afghanistan and have only one nationality.

Our new cabinet (as published, presumably parliament) which has been established according to people`s wishes, should observe our national interests in every step. They should not only individually summon minister to parliament but also focus on the issue of dual nationality. They should not let those who love to hold dual nationality stay in high positions. Otherwise, there is a fear that they will observe the interests of foreigners instead of our nations` interests.

(Description of Source: Kabul Erada in Dari and Pashto Kabul Erada in Pashto -- Four-page daily newspaper containing editorials, news reports, historical and economic articles, commentaries, and literary topics. Campaigns for democracy and media freedom; critical of corruption and warlords. First published as a weekly in 2000 in Peshawar, Pakistan, moved to Kabul in 2002 and became a daily in December 2002. The editor was detained in April 2003 for publishing an article critical of the Education Ministry. )

Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Holding Bahrain to ransom using dual nationality
By W.W.
Daily News
April 13, 2012

DUAL nationality, or dual citizenship, is largely a thing of convenience for individuals, but by making it easier for those individuals to do business it is also beneficial to countries.

However, when things go wrong and people with dual citizenship claim allegiance to one country over another, it can pose problems.

Especially when it is played - figuratively speaking - as a get out of jail free card, as though somehow the laws of the land don`t apply equally to citizens who have another passport.

Such people entering a country flash a “home” passport because it is so much easier to get through immigration and Customs, without having to do all that pesky paperwork beforehand.

But when there is trouble, out comes passport number two (for example from the fictional country Dyspepsia) - followed by pleas for a consular official from that country to seek their release.

“I too am a citizen of Dyspepsia and it is your job to get me out,” they say.

That`s when the bureaucratic rigmarole starts, for there is no record of Citizen X entering the country as a Dyspepsian.

At about this time, the consular official starts their little spiel about how the laws of the land in which they find their troubled selves applies equally to all locals and Dyspepsians.

These are usually followed by the citizen ranting about writing to ministers, MPs and the media, claiming Dyspepsian consular authorities are not giving them proper protection.

All of this is designed to ratchet up the pressure.

By this time the consular official usually thinks “rubbish”, but gets to work anyway - offering the best service and advice they can.

In real terms, that may not be much at all, for whatever landed Citizen X in custody happened in the host country - and the Dyspepsian is rightly subject to local laws.

The quality of justice may differ between jurisdictions, but that justice applies to everyone in the host country.

Who is to say that justice in Denmark, for example, is better than Bahrain?

Sure, prison conditions and the administration of justice might be different, but surely that is no reason for someone to be released after committing heinous crimes in the host country?

Which brings us to Abdulhadi Al Khawaja, who has astutely chosen to go on a hunger strike - no-one has forced him to do so - that coincides with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, maximising media attention.

The kernel of the issue is the nature of Mr Al Khawaja`s crimes: Amnesty International regards them as “political”, whereas Bahrain regards them as “criminal”.

However, Mr Al Khawaja came back to Bahrain knowing the application of the law.

He has been convicted in a properly constituted court, as have other Bahraini citizens found guilty of similar crimes, and now he wants to hold Bahrain to ransom because he has dual nationality.

Bahrain has been open in showing he is receiving adequate medical attention, so there is no need for his adopted country to intervene.

Mr Al Khawaja`s condition is in his own hands, but playing brinksmanship with a life can be fatal.

© Copyright 2012 Gulf Daily News. All Rights Reserved.

Pakistan Article Comments on Dual Citizenship Held by Lawmakers, Govt Officials
The News Online
Monday, June 6, 2011

Article by Mamoona Ali Kazmi: Dual citizenship: A question of loyalty

Recently, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q parliamentarian, Raza Hayat Hiraj introduced a Bill in the National Assembly that seeks the disqualification of parliamentarians and members of the federal and provincial government who hold dual nationality and own foreign accounts and property. His key contention was that those who take an oath of loyalty with other countries could not safeguard the interests of Pakistan. According to Hiraj almost 10 percent of the provincial and federal legislators have dual nationality.

The draft constitutional bill seeks the insertion of Article 63(B) after the existing Article 63 (A) of the constitution. The draft amendment reads as: 63 B Disqualification On Certain Grounds: (1) notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution or any other law for the time being in force, a person shall be disqualified from service in Pakistan or holding any office in any organization, including members of the armed forces and judiciary; whether wholly or partly owned or controlled by the Federal or Provincial government or being elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or provincial Assembly or local government if: (a) he/she maintains an account in any bank or financial institution in a foreign country whether in his/her own or in the name of spouse, children or dependents. (b) Holds a dual nationality or has a permanent resident status of any other country, whether in own name or in the name of spouses, children or dependents. (c) Holds an office of profit or interest in any company or organization established in a foreign country. (d) It applies to any individual who owns any property whether free hold, lease hold or even in the form of license, assets or shares or any interest in any company based in a foreign country, whether in his own name or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents. (e) Carries out business, including commercial activity, in any organization or establishment based in a foreign country, whether in his own name or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents.

Constitution of Pakistan categorically states that any Pakistani who acquires citizenship of a foreign state shall stand disqualified from being elected as a member of parliament. The Pakistani Constitution Article 63, which deals with qualification and disqualification of becoming a member of Parliament, reads in part: 63(1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if, (a) he is unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court; or (b) he is undischarged insolvent; or (c) he ceases to be citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state etc.

People use to give the reference of dual nationality laws, which allows a Pakistani to keep his Pakistani citizenship along with citizenship of the countries with which Pakistan has a dual citizenship agreement. Laws do not override the Constitution. Legal experts say Article 63 is so clear that it cannot be affected in any way by any dual citizenship law. A person can have dual nationality, but in this case he is not authorized to maintain a public office.

Dual citizenship or dual nationality occurs when a person is a citizen of more than one country. It denotes that the person has a significant allegiance to or interest in another country. Dual citizenship isn`t bad per se, but not for rulers, not only of Pakistan but of every other state too. Logically, we cannot expect an individual to ascribe to another country`s oath of citizenship (which involves protecting the interests of that country at all costs) over the interest of Pakistan. Local allegiance is the only thing that would make the rulers to do something for the country they are citizens.

Citizenship requires allegiance and no doubt dual citizenship begets dual allegiance. The word allegiance means that we promise loyalty. It also carries with it the expectation that this loyalty will be exclusive and unrestrained. For example if a pers on acquires an American nationality in the situation of a declared war or real threat or conflict, his allegiance to America would prelude any other interest, be it another country or political ideology. When one takes oath to become an American citizen, he/she pledges his/her “allegiance” exclusively to America and renounce his/her allegiance to any or all foreign governments. Since citizenship carries with it a responsibility to be exclusively loyal to one country, the whole concept of dual citizenship and nationality raises questions about which of the dual citizenships has priority. This is extremely important when the two countries have opposing interests. It can be a real problem when a dual citizen is in a high position.

Justice Padilla of the Supreme Court of Philippines renounces the dual nationality in these words, “Dual nationality is universally described as an undesirable phenomenon. It inevitably results in questionable loyalties and leads to international conflicts. Dual nationality also makes possible the use of citizenship as a badge of convenience than of undivided loyalty. It impairs the singleness of commitment, which is the hallmark of citizenship and allegiance. A person should have the right to choose his own nationality and this choice should be honoured by all countries. However, he should not be entitled to claim more than one nationality.”

Many analysts believe that dual nationality is undesirable for public representatives. They observe that leaders who live on taxpayer money, make decision on behalf of public should have only one allegiance and it should be to the country and people they represent. Leaders with dual nationality are like foreign capital, they can easily flee in tough circumstances. The people who have only one citizenship/allegiance and who know they are unable to flee are more likely to act in long-term interests of the nation.

The Article 63 of the Constitution disqualifies a person with dual citizenship from becoming a member of the parliament. Whereas the bill presented by Hiraj bars even the people who have properties and businesses in foreign lands from becoming a member.

Riaz Pirzada and Sheikh Waqas Akram of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q said dual nationality holders have played havoc with the country. They also cited Hamesh Khan, former president of the Bank of Punjab, who according to them was living in the US freely after annihilating the bank`s operations. They demanded that government should draft laws to prevent dual nationality holders from holding public offices, adding that such people should have no access to classified information. Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to suspend membership of those parliamentarians who have dual nationality as per 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, after following due process of law.

Due to the security situation in Pakistan many people have either moved abroad after selling their assets or have kept open the option of swiftly flying off to another country, having attaining dual nationality. However, for someone who takes the oath to serve the country through civil, military and judicial services or as legislator, being a citizen of another country poses a dilemma because it involves an oath of loyalty to that country`s constitution, laws and interests, which in effect means divided loyalties. Consequently, dual nationality gives elected and government officials leeway for escaping after misuse of public office for private gain.

(Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of a widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Usually offers leading news and analysis on issues related to war against terrorism. Circulation estimated at 55,000; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Jamaica: Ruling Party Moves To Oust Legislator With Dual US-Jamaica Citizenship
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unattributed report: “JAMAICA-POLITICS-Ruling party moves to oust opposition legislator with dual citizenship”

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC - An opposition parliamentarian has been given a week to renounce her United States citizenship in the latest move by political parties to unseat legislators with dual citizenship who were victorious in the last general election in Jamaica.

Gregory Mair, a member of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has tabled a motion in Parliament giving the ultimatum to Sharon Hay-Webster of the main opposition People`s National Party (PNP).

“Whereas this Member publicly acknowledged in 2009 that she still held US passport, the House invites the Member of Parliament for South Central St. Catherine to renounce immediately, her position as a Member of the House in accordance with the rule of law upheld by the ruling of the Court of Appeal,” said Mair, who is the representative for the North East St Catherine constituency.

Last year, Mair was deemed ineligible to sit in Parliament because he had Venezuelan citizenship. Two other JLP legislators, including Information Minister Daryl Vaz, were also unseated as the controversy over dual citizenship continued here unabated.

However all three government MPs were re-elected in subsequent by-elections. Last week, the PNP was successful in getting the High Court to the parliamentary representative for the North East St. Ann constituency, Shahine Robinson, ousted because she failed to meet a court deadline regarding the submissions of documents relating to her citizenship.

Earlier this week, Hay-Webster said she had no intention of seeking re-election for the South Central St. Catherine seat in the next general elections.

Meanwhile, police said they have smashed a passport and visa racket followed a raid in the capital on Tuesday that was uncovered by the security officials in a section of downtown Kingston on Tuesday.

The police said they seized hundreds of passports and that two men, whose names have not yet been disclosed, were assisting with their investigations.

“Hundreds of local and international passports, some with visas; stamps; a computer; as well as other electrical equipment were taken from the premises,” said head of the Police Flying Squad, Superintendent Cornwall Ford.”

One of the two men arrested was a deportee from the United States, and we believe they were the main players in the racket,” he said.

Media reports said that the US visas were being sold at the premises for between J$25,000 (US$287) and J$50,000 (U$574).

(Description of Source: Bridgetown CMC in English -- regional news service run by the Caribbean Media Corporation)

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Ugandans With Dual Citizenship Ineligible To Serve in Cabinet
The New Vision
Friday, November 14, 2008

Report by Josephine Maseruka: “Dual Citizens Won`t Serve in Cabinet Bill”

Ugandans with dual citizenship will not be eligible to serve in the Cabinet or head security organisations.

This was contained in the Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control (Amendment) Bill 2008, which is being scrutinised by the parliamentary committee on defence.

The Bill lists 11 State positions that cannot be held by a person with dual citizenship. They will also not be eligible for appointment as Inspector General of Government (IGG) and the deputy IGG, army battalion commanders and in senior positions in the army.

Appearing before the committee chaired by Mathias Kasamba (NRM), internal affairs minister Stephen Kagoda said dual citizenship has not been operational due to lack of backing legislation.

He, however, cited security challenges that would arise with dual citizenship.

“Imagine what would happen if the President of Rwanda was Congolese and there was fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo? That is why we cannot allow dual nationality in some cases.”

Kasamba wondered whether there was a mechanism of tracking Ugandans who had renounced their nationality. Kagonda replied that such people were required to surrender their passports before getting citizenship elsewhere.

Godfrey Wanzira from the immigration control directorate expressed concern that some investors experienced delays in getting visas and work permits.

Milton Muwuma (NRM) called for the harmonisation of the list of people not eligible for dual citizenship with that of VIPs.

(Description of Source: Kampala The New Vision (Internet Version-WWW) in English -- state-owned daily publishing a diversity of opinion; URL:

© Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Somali parliament operations said hampered by MPs` dual citizenship, high number
BBC Monitoring Africa
January 02, 2010

It has been said that 70 per cent of the Somali MPs also hold foreign passports which makes it easy for them to flee from the insecurity in Somalia and back to the countries whose passports they hold.

The Federal Somali Parliament today marks its first anniversary since the merger when the number of MPs was increased to 550, the highest in the history of Somalia.

Members of the Federal Somali Parliament have spoken on achievements made by the parliament and said it is unnecessary to have this number of MPs. The 550 Members of the Federal Somali Parliament are spread across all continents, North America, Europe and Africa having failed to secure a peaceful venue to work in. It has been said that 70 per cent of the Somali MPs also hold foreign passports which makes it easy for them to flee from the insecurity in Somalia and back to the countries whose passports they hold.

Parliament sessions have been suspended twice this week after failing to attain the desired quorum forcing the Speaker to threaten that he will take stern action against some of the MPs that failed to show up. The Federal Somali Parliament on its first anniversary has said it has done a lot in the last year during which it imposed the state of emergency declared by the government and holding of Transitional Federal Government of Somalia [TFG] officials accountable.

Many of the politicians that are opposed to the way the Federal Somali Parliament is currently constituted have said the power sharing agreements of 4:5 and this large of number of MPs representing various Somali clans should be done away with.

Some members of the Federal Somali Parliament have accused the Speaker, Adan Muhammad Nur Madobe, of lacking the necessary knowledge and expertise in the management of parliamentary affairs.

Source: Somali Puntlandpost website in Somali 31 Dec 09

© 2010 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.






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