26 Jun 2006

Tonga's Privy Council gives go ahead to dual citizenship

7:33 am on 26 June 2006

Tonga's Privy Council has agreed to allow dual citizenship for Tongans and urgent legislation will go to the House this year to make it a reality.

The Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, said the Privy Council had approved a submission from the Tongan Cabinet to make dual citizenship for Tongan citizens lawful.

The on-line news site, Matangi Tonga, quoted the Prime Minister saying the decision should bring joy to the hearts of every Tongan -both at home and overseas

The change is expected to end years of difficulty for thousands of Tongans who were forced to relinquish their Tongan passports after they became citizens of countries where they had established their economic bases.

Allowing duality will remove an obstacle to investment in Tonga by overseas Tongans, and dual citizenship will be also be welcomed by Tongan women who lose their Tongan nationality when they marry foreign men.

The details of the amendments have yet to be seen.