Today, at least one-fourth of the members of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate are expected to sign a resolution in a special session to allow the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville as the venue of the inauguration of President-elect George M. Weah and Vice President-elect Jewel Howard-Taylor.
During the 52nd Legislature, the law was amended that the grounds of the Capitol Building the seat of the legislature must be used as the inauguration venue.
The ongoing construction of the two annexes of the Capitol Building, at the cost of US$23m, by the People’s Republic China (PRC) has necessarily moved the inauguration to the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
In exclusive interviews with three lawmakers who asked for anonymity at the end of yesterday’s executive meeting in the Chambers of the House of Representatives, they said at least 19 members of the House of Representatives and 8 Senators could affix their signatures to approve the resolution to make the SKD Sports Complex a lawful venue for the inauguration.
If the resolution is not signed by the Legislature, that means the SKD will not be legal and “we will not participate in the inauguration,” one legislator said. “The resolution is to allow the venue to be legitimate for us to attend.”
According to Article 53 (a) of the 1986 Constitution: “The President and Vice President shall, before entering on the execution of the duties of their respective offices, take a solemn oath or affirmation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and laws of the Republic and faithfully execute the duties of the offices. The oath or affirmation shall be administered in joint convention of both Houses of the Legislature by the Chief Justice or, in his absence, the most senior Associate Justice.”
Inauguration calendar of events
Amid the anticipated resolution, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already released the calendar of events leading to the inauguration, beginning today (Friday) and the SKD as the venue of the January 22 inauguration day.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Inaugural 2018 Calendar of Events begins on Friday, January 19, with what is dubbed: Taste of Liberia. This event takes place at the Nancy B. Doe Market, Jorkpen Town, Sinkor from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Muslim community will host inaugural intercessory prayers at the Benson Street Mosque from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
On Saturday, January 20, there will be a Peace Football Match between Weah All-Stars (WAS) and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) at the Barclay Training Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Also on the same day, the Women of Liberia will have an honoring program at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium beginning at 10:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.
On Sunday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m., another inaugural intercessory service takes place at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion that will be hosted by the Christian community. Later in the evening, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., a Musical, Arts, Culture and Fashion Show showcasing Liberia takes place at the Monrovia City Hall.
On Monday, January 22, the official inauguration ceremony of President-elect George Manneh Weah and Vice President-elect, Jewel Howard Taylor, takes place at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville beginning at 9:45 a.m.
Immediately following the swearing-in ceremony, an inaugural luncheon takes at the same venue, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, beginning at 1:30 p.m. through 2:30 p.m.
At 7:00 p.m., the inaugural ball, in honor of President George Manneh Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor takes place at the Executive Pavilion on Ashmun Street.
Meanwhile, as directed by the Chief of Protocol all persons attending the inauguration ceremony at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex must observe the following:
No cars will be allowed to enter the Complex; all guests, with the exception of those listed in the Special Protocol, will enter the premises through the Main Entrance; the ushering of guests to the Ceremony will commence at 7:00 a.m. and end at 9:45 a.m. No one will be permitted to enter after 9:45 a.m. except those mentioned below:
The Speaker and Members of the 54th Legislature and former members of the 53rd Legislature will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 9:50 a.m.
Members of the Consular Corps will enter the Stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 09:55 a.m.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Heads of International Organizations will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:00 a.m.
The Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:05 a.m.
The Dean and Members of the Cabinet will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:10 a.m.
The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:15 a.m.
Vice President and Mrs. Joseph Boakai will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:20 a.m.
The President of the Republic of Liberia will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to the seat reserved for her at 10:25 a.m.
The Vice President-elect will enter the stadium through the VIP entrance and be escorted to the seat reserved for her at 10: 30 a.m.
Foreign Heads of State and Government will enter the Stadium through the VIP Entrance and be escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:35 am.
The President-elect and Mr a& Mrs. George Weah will be met and escorted by the Joint Legislative Committee through the VIP Entrance, and escorted to seats reserved for them at 10:55 am.