Narrowly escapes “contempt” charge
The Deputy Governor for Operations and Acting Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Charles Sirleaf, has written a letter of apology to the Liberian Senate for his inability to appear before that body yesterday as requested.
Mr. Charles E. Sirleaf in a communication dated July 12, 2018, noted that he was, however, ready to avail himself to any subsequent citation “at the wish and pleasure of the Honorable Liberian Senate at a later date and time. I again extend my sincere apology and assure this August body of my fullest cooperation.”
The Senate recently cited Acting Executive Governor Sirleaf to appear before plenary on July 9, 2018, to discuss the prevailing economic situation in the country, with respect to the alarming high disparity in the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and the United States dollar.
Governor Sirleaf failed to appear before the Senate on grounds that such appearance would preempt the upcoming confirmation hearing of the newly-appointed Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray. The Senate rejected Governor Sirleaf’s excuse and, instead, cited him again to appear before Senate plenary on Thursday, July 12, 2018, to show reason(s) why he should not be held in Legislative contempt for nonappearance.
But in his latest communication, dated July 12, 2018, Governor Sirleaf noted: “…I sincerely apologize for my nonappearance on Monday, July 9, 2018, as it was not a deliberate act of defiance that should hold me in contempt to this august body.”
Given the citation for Thursday, July 12, 2018, for his appearance before the Senate plenary, Sirleaf wrote: “I wish to inform the Honorable Senate that I have been cited by the President of the Republic of Liberia… to a meeting he is conducting with the Economic Management Team (EMT), heads of Commercial Banks and major importers today, July 12, 2018, at the office of the President. Thus, this represents my inability to attend the plenary as requested.”
Weah himself “working on economic solution”
A source in the Executive Mansion confirmed that the government’s Economic Management Team (EMT) has been meeting every day this week with various key stakeholders in the Liberian economy to develop a solution to the problem of high inflation caused by hikes in the in the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar (LRD) and the United States dollar (USD) and subsequent rise in the prices of basic commodities. The EMT comprises representations of all economic-related government ministries and agencies, including the Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Justice, as well as the Liberia Revenue Authority, among others.
“This time around they decided to hear form the business people,” the source told the Daily Observer. The latest EMT meeting, held Thursday, July 12, included major players in the private sector, among them commercial bankers, major importers and other leaders in the business community. The Central Bank of Liberia was represented at the meeting by its Deputy Governor, Charles Sirleaf.
In a motion, which was unanimously accepted by the Senate, Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso Gaye requested his colleagues to purge the Deputy Governor Sirleaf of any and all attempted contemplation of contempt charges and that he be requested to appear before that body on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.