Women’s Right to Grant Citizenship

Women’s Right to Grant Citizenship to Children Needs Further Study amid Lack of Consensus in Cabinet
The cabinet failed during its session at the Grand Serail on Wednesday to reach a decision regarding the right of Lebanese women, who are married to foreigners, to pass the citizenship to their children.

Sharp differences in opinion emerged to the surface prompting the cabinet to approve the formation of a committee tasked with extensively studying the project before taking a final decision.

The committee is headed by Deputy PM Samir Moqbel and includes Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi and Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour.

Change and Reform bloc ministers, who are loyal to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, expressed reservations over the matter demanding more restrictions to the law, according to An Nahar newspaper published on Thursday.

“No one opposed the principle of granting the mother the right to give the Lebanese citizenship to her family, but there was consensus on the importance of setting restrictions,” Charbel told As Safir newspaper.

Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that Hizbullah ministers voiced their support to the issue; however, As Safir said that Hizbullah and AMAL ministers disassociated themselves from the matter.

As Safir noted that National Struggle Front ministers, loyal to Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, and the Syrian Social National Party ministers expressed their support to the matter, without exempting the Lebanese women married to Palestinians “in order to avoid racism.”

The Lebanese citizenship is transmitted by law through the father, who has the right to pass the citizenship to his children and foreign wives.

According to media reports, the interior minister had proposed two versions of the draft law before the cabinet.

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