Under the new Kenyan constitution, Barack Obama is a citizen of Kenya by birth who is eligible to be elected president of Kenya, whether he was born in Kenya or not.
The East African nation’s new constitution was officially published as a proposal May 6 and was ratified as published Aug. 4 in a national referendum with 67 percent approval.
The Times of London last year reported, at the time of his inauguration as U.S. president, Obama was wildly popular in Kenya, with one man quoted as saying, “This man is Jesus. When will he come to Kenya to save us?”
WND reported the Obama administration spent $23 million of U.S. taxpayer money to support the “Yes” vote ratifying the new Kenyan constitution, which coincided with Obama’s Aug. 4 birthday.
Obama has maintained a strong personal commitment to Africa, often identifying himself with the continent as his father’s homeland.
“I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story,” Obama said when visiting Ghana in July 2009, according to a report by Jake Tapper of ABC News.
The New York Times reported that in Ghana an announcer called out, “The first black president of the United States. Africa meets one of its illustrious sons, Barack Obama.”
The newspaper noted Ghana’s president introduced Obama to the parliament as “a long-lost relative,” declaring, “You’ve come home.”
At a town-hall meeting Aug. 3 at the White House with 120 young African leaders from nearly 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Obama said, “I don’t see Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world.”
The newly ratified Kenyan constitution, Chapter 3, Section 14(1), entitled “Citizenship by birth,” reads: “A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a Kenyan citizen.”
On Obama’s birthday, Aug. 4, 1961, his father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan citizen, thereby conferring on his son Kenyan citizenship.
Chapter 3, Section 16 of the Kenyan Constitution specifies, “A citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country,” making clear that U.S. citizenship is not an impediment for Obama also being a Kenyan citizen.
The constitution suggests that all Obama would need to do to make his Kenyan citizenship effective again is to apply for reinstatement.
Chapter 14, Section 14(5) reads, “A person who is a Kenyan citizen by birth and who, on the effective date, has ceased to be a Kenyan citizen because the person acquired citizenship of another country, is entitled on application to regain Kenyan citizenship.”
Qualified to run for president
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Kenyan constitution does not require that a candidate for president be “a natural born citizen.”
All that is required in Chapter 9, Part 2, Section 137(1)(a) to qualify to run for the presidency of Kenya is that a person be a citizen by birth, a qualification Obama meets because, at his birth, his father was a Kenyan citizen.
Chapter 9, Part 2, Section 137(1)(b) also requires that a presidential candidate be qualified to stand for election as a member of parliament.
Chapter 8, Part 2, Section 99(2)(c) requires that to qualify as a candidate for parliament, a person must only have been a citizen for the 10 years immediately preceding the date of the election.
Since Obama is a Kenyan citizen by birth under terms of the new Kenyan constitution, he qualifies to be a member of the Kenyan parliament now, a condition which then equally qualifies him to run for president of Kenya.
Even under the most stringent requirement, Obama would only need to reapply to Kenya to make sure his Kenyan citizenship is current. In the process, Obama would not need to renounce his U.S. citizenship, since the new Kenyan constitution allows Kenyan citizens to be dual citizens.
When Obama was born, Kenya was a British colony, and Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948.
FactCheck.org, a source generally supportive of Obama, noted during the 2008 presidential campaign that, at the time of his birth, he was both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the United Kingdom and its colonies by virtue of being born to a father who was a British citizen through the then-British colony of Kenya.
FactCheck.org cited Part II, Section 5 of the British Nationality Act of 1948 that reads: “Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of his birth.”
FactCheck.org even stated Obama “did in fact have Kenyan citizenship” after 1963, the year in which Kenya became independent.
Yet, FactCheck.org argued that by 2008, Barack Obama Jr. lost his Kenyan citizenship because the Kenyan constitution at that time prohibited dual citizenship for adults.
“Kenya recognizes dual citizenship for children, but Kenya’s constitution specifies that, at age 23, Kenyan citizens who possess citizenship in more than one country automatically lose their Kenyan citizenship unless they formally renounce any non-Kenyan citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenya,” FactCheck.org wrote.
“Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4, 1984,” FactCheck.org concluded.
The FactCheck.org analysis of the Obama dual-citizenship issue, including the admission he was a Kenyan citizen on birth, is posted on the Obama “Fight the Smears” website at the bottom of the page titled “The Truth About Obama’s Birth Certificate.”
None of the dual-citizenship requirements are carried forward in the Kenyan constitution ratified by referendum Aug. 4.
The new Kenyan constitution notes in Chapter 3, Section 16 that a Kenyan “citizen by birth does not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country,” a provision that appears to reinstate Barack Obama Jr.’s Kenyan citizenship retroactively.