The 54th Legislature, comprising members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, is returning on Capitol Hill today (Monday, January 14) to work, for an annual “transaction of business” in consonance with Article 32 of the 1986 Constitution after a seasonal constituency break.
“The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January,” Article 32 of the Constitution says.
Today’s resumption is marking the formal commencement of the 2nd Session of the 54th Legislature. The 1st Session of the 54th Legislature lasted from January 15 to November 30, 2018.
The Legislature should have closed for its Constituency (or Annual Break) on 30 August, but because of two separate proclamations extending the First Session of the 54th Legislature by President George M. Weah, the Legislature finally closed on November 30.
The Press and Public Affairs Director of the House of Representatives, Isaac Redd, said members of the House of Representatives and Senate will concomitantly at 8:00 a.m., hoist the 15 Counties’ Flags and the National Flag.
“Thereafter, members of the 54th Legislature will proceed to their respective Chambers for formal opening ceremonies of the 2nd Session,” Mr. Redd said.
“The Lawmakers will also, after the formal opening ceremonies, go to the Rotunda of the Capital Building for a Reception, which is scheduled at noon.”
He added: “President George M. Weah, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet members, the Doyen and members of the Diplomatic Corps, Religious and Traditional Leaders, Heads of Political Parties, Business Communities and Prominent Citizens are expected to grace the occasion.”
Meanwhile, some notable laws, which were approved by the House of Representatives, include: the Land Rights Act; Kamara Abdullah Kamara Act of Press Freedom; An Act to Amend Section 10.1 and Section 10.2, Amendment and Restatement of the Public Financial Management Act of 2009; Mineral Development Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Inc.; Resolution Setting out the Rules to Govern the Impeachment of the President, vice President, Members of the Supreme Court, Judges of Subordinate Courts, and all civil officers to which impeachment may apply; and the Bill of Impeachment from the Honorable House of Representatives in the first session of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia for the impeachment of His Honor Kabineh M. Ja’neh, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia”.
Others include: The Vehicle Traffic Law”; An Act to Amend the Revenue Code of Liberia, Phase one of the Reform tax Code of Liberia, A.D. 2000, As amended by the Consolidated Tax Amendments Act of 2011, to Reform Excise Tax Law (2018); An Act to Amend Provisions of the Business Corporation Act Chapter Associations Law of Liberia, title 5, Liberian code of Laws relating to Bearer Shares and to create a new section 5.17 relating to the Custodialization of Bearer shares; and An Act to Amend title 21 of the Liberian code of Laws Revised, Liberia Maritime Law, thereby amending Section 14,21,25,65,66,75,85,93,100 (A), 101, 105, 107, 110, 112 (A), 116 (A), 356 and 361 affecting Lease financing of Vessels Mortgages and All Matters Pertaining Thereto.
However, the two laws and a resolutions approved by the House of Representatives, which many regarded as “controversial”, included the US$536.4 million ETON loan/financing agreement and the US$420.8 million EBOMAF SA Loan and the Resolution Mandating the Executive to secure Loan Finances for Road construction of critical corridors.