The proposed amendments to the constitution to allow dual citizenship comes as welcome news for many Papua New Guineans. However, blogger Emmanuel Narakobi of Masalai blog has brought to light some serious implications that could essentially violate our democratic rights.
According to Emmanuel’s blog post, a clause in the amendment states that:
“…in accordance with the repeal provision and in respect of the process of grant of citizenship or the grant of citizenship to such a person, it is hereby declared that that process or grant shall not be questioned, reviewed or appealed against in any court of law and a decision made or any action taken by the Minister in relation to that process of grant of citizenship or grant of citizenship to such person is final and non-justiciable.”
This will undoubtedly give the minister responsible all the powers in the world to grant citizenship without anyone questioning him or her. Now, be mindful, this doesn’t only apply to PNG citizens wanting to become citizens of another country but also foreigners who wish to become PNG citizens.
It also makes it illegal for anyone to question granting of citizenship. Now, if Indonesian fugitive Djoko Tjandra is given citizenship under these laws, then there is nothing you or I can do about it.
I welcome the idea of dual citizenship but thanks to Emmanuel’s post, I think we need to peruse the fine print before making a decision.