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Haiti's Prime Minister Tells VOA His Government Hopes for Constitutional Change


Proposed amendment would allow dual citizenship

Washington, D.C., March 28, 2008 - In an exclusive interview, Haiti's Prime Minister, Jacques-Édouard Alexis, told the Voice of America (VOA) that his government was working to enact a constitutional amendment to allow dual citizenship.

"The President and I are concerned about the way we deal with people who hold dual citizenship and the perception that could create in the Haitian Diaspora. We are going to work on an amendment that would solve this problem once and for all," Alexis said.

The Haitian constitution, which was enacted on March 29, 1987, bans dual citizenship holders from voting or holding high political office. Haiti's Senate recently expelled two of its members for dual citizenship. The proposed amendment would re-enfranchise members of Haiti's large Diaspora.

The Prime Minister also announced the creation of a commission to investigate current citizenship status in accordance with the law.

"In a letter I sent to the Senate, I told the Senators about the creation of a commission that will investigate the citizenship status of all members of my government and other senior officials," said Alexis. He added, "If there are members of my government whose citizenship status violates the constitution, I will take the necessary action."

The Prime Minister was interviewed while in Washington for a two-day visit, during which he met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and prepared for a donors conference that will take place in Haiti on April 25.

VOA broadcasts one and a half hours daily in Creole to Haiti. All programs are available online at www.VOANews.com/Creole.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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