The sixth and final session of the 54th Legislature, which should have begun on the second Monday in January (January 9, 2023), has been deferred to Monday, January 16, 2023. The deferment is as a result of the disruption caused in the government’s calendar of events in the New Year.
The official New Year’s Day celebration was forwarded from Sunday, January 1 to Monday, January 2, 2023. This meant that the resumption of official duties by the national legislature, which Article 32(a) of the 1986 Liberian Constitution says should take place on the Second Working Monday in January of each year, is now deferred to the third Monday of the month.
The six sessions of the 54th Legislature and the current term of the 24th President run from January 2018 and will end January 2024. Next week’s opening ceremony will be graced by members of both the upper and lower houses of the Legislature.
The return for the final transaction of business of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, is in accordance with Article 32(a) of the Constitution of Liberia, which mandates that the Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.
According to protocol, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives will assemble at the courtyard of the Capitol (Executive Mansion side) at 10:00am, for a grand march to hoist simultaneously the National Flag and flags of the 15 counties, led by the Sergeant At-Arms of the Legislature.
After the hoisting of flags, lawmakers will march into their respective Chambers for separate welcoming programs and then climax the opening of the Sixth Session with a Joint Lunch in the rotunda.
The lunch will be graced by the Chief Executive H.E. Dr. George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, officials of Government and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
President Pro Tempore Albert Chie, Deputy Speaker Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, Speaker Bhofal Chambers and the President will make remarks.
Amidst the resumption of Legislative duties, highly placed sources within the corridors of the Legislature have hinted to the Daily Observer that members of both Houses are set to pass the 2023 National Budget in the tone of US$777.9 million before the President delivers his sixth State of the Nation Address.
Article 58 of the Constitution of Liberia, mandates that the President, like those before him to, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the Legislative Program of the Administration for the ensuing session, and report on the State of the Republic, covering the economic condition of the Nation, including expenditure and income.
The Liberian Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief is expected to use nearly one-and-a-half hours to deliver his address in the Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building on Monday, January 30, 2023, to exhaustively report on the progress and plans of his government’s legislative agenda, economic revitalization, social services, foreign relations, peace and reconciliation, among others.