|New constitution grants dual citizenship|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 16:10|
President Michel Martelly has released the newly amended constitution, which now allows dual nationality for Haitians among the Diaspora.
"The matter of the dual nationality that was creating division between the Diaspora and people here in Haiti, that's been resolved," said Martelly at the official announcement of the revised constitution this week. “All Haitians are Haitians.”
The new dual citizenship status means greater political and economic opportunities in Haiti for nearly one million Haitian-Americans. Haitian-Americans now can secure their right to own land, vote and even run for lower levels of office, including the Cabinet.
The change comes after years of demands from the Diaspora to allow dual citizenship status. The Haitian Diaspora has become increasing integral to the country’s economic development and political leadership. Remittances from Haitians living abroad make up 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Thanks significantly to these contributions, Haiti now leads the Caribbean region with the highest GDP growth rate for 2011, at 5.6 percent. And the Haitian-American community in South Florida has become a regular campaign stop for top Haitian officials, with regular visits from President Martelly and newly appointed Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe.
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