Legislature Returns to Capitol on Monday for Crucial 3rd Session

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Flashback: Members of the 54th Legislature at the formal commencement of the 2nd Session in January, 2019.

The third session of the 54th Legislature is expected to begin on Monday, January 13, 2020 to fulfill the requirements in Article 32 of the 1986 Constitution, which says, “The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.”

All 73 members of the House of Representatives and the 30 Senators, including the President and Presiding Officer of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, are expected to ‘Salute to the Liberian Flag’ and pledge allegiance to the Republic. After the performances of the ‘Salute to the Flag’, the 104-member Legislature will parade to their respective Chambers for ‘formal separate opening ceremonies’ which will be characterized by roll calls and speeches from Presiding officers. The official opener of the 3rd Session of the 54th Legislature will be crested will a dinner at the Rotunda of the Capitol Building, wherein President George M. Weah and members of the Cabinet, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and other dignitaries will be invited.

Prior to the feast, a synchronized and joint program will be held during which the leaderships of both Houses and the President will make special remarks. Traditionally, not much gets done in the Legislature each year prior to the State of the Nation Address, which is usually in two weeks. On Monday, January 27 — the fourth working Monday in January, President George M. Weah will give the third State of the Nation Address of his current 6-year-term in consonance with Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution.

The President’s 3rd Annual address will also fulfill the requirements in Article 58 of the 1986 Constitution, which says, “The President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.”

The State of Nation Address (sometimes abbreviated: SOTA) is an Annual Message delivered by the President of Liberia to a Joint Session of the Liberian Legislature, presided over by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the beginning of each calendar year. Amid protests for President George M. Weah to step-up his governance organized by the Council of Patriots (CoP) and another pending demonstration, coupled with the bad economy, there are reports that the President on Monday, January 27 might issue a call for national unity and national peace and caution that “politics of revenge” and “partisan protests” are threats to economic recovery and the fragile peace.

Reports further said the President might appeal to reach a compromise in the interest of the country and the Liberian people. Meanwhile, this 3rd Session is expected to be crucial with the appeal to the Legislature to pass on (act upon or ratify) some 29 priority bills which have been submitted by the President. It may be recalled, prior to adjournment of the 2nd Session, the President said the national conversation on tenure, economy and the general state affairs began with the appeal to the Legislature to approve the eight revised propositions for referendum to amend the 1986 Constitution.

The President further said ‘Priority Bills’ are some of the unresolved key matters of national interest that require the urgent attention of the 54th as well as geared toward the enhancement of the socio-economic interests of the State and its people, including been contingent on financial agreements that Liberia stands to lose US$40 million in this fiscal year, if nothing is done. Also, in October 2020, there will be Special Midterm Election, wherein 15 seats will be contested in the 15 counties.

Author

  • I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

5 COMMENTS

  1. So welcome back to work, ladies and gentlemen. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas break. Plenty of work needs to be done. The economy is not doing well at all. The country is broke financially. Get yourselves ready to tackle the toughest issues of our time. I will suggest something that you may not like to pay attention to. But I will say it because it’s a bread and butter issue. Here it is…..
    Your yearly incomes are way too high. And yet, nothing is being done to seriously look into that aspect of reality. So, if you could, think of a way in which you could help the country. I am very certain that a 10% pay cut will help the country. That’s my suggestion, but maybe you’ll consider something that’s better than 10% in terms of a pay cut. Knowing you, I am sure you will make a good decision. Yeah, I know it’s kind of painful, but it can be done. Doing it is being patriotic.

    Peace

  2. Ladies and gentlemen, a pay cut will give the government of Weah the opportunity to pay the civil servants.
    I know you hate my guts because I bring this issue up all the time. Guess what? I have no choice! It is shameful for you to earn hugh salaries while a majority of the working class gets paid in nickels and dimes.

    Let’s take a look once again at the amount of money you earn per year:

    $15,000 per month per Representative x 73 men and women equals $1,095,000. In a year’s time ladies and gentlemen, you earn $13,140,000, because if you multiply $1,095,000 x 12 months, you get: $13,140,000.

    $16,000 per month per Senator x 30 men and women equals $480,000. Ladies and gentlemen, in a year’s time, you earn $5,760,000.

    In a year’s time, your yearly incomes (legislators of the Upper and Lower Houses) amount to:
    $18,900,000.

    Ladies and gentlemen….you see what bothers me most is that our country is one of the poorest countries in the whole wide world. And yet you don’t get it? Frankly, I am embarrassed by that. Not just me, I strongly believe that millions of my fellow compatriots are unhappy with you based on your insensitivity to make that much money without taking into account the country’s economic situation.

    There are many of your colleagues who are blameworthy as well. The members of the judiciary are highly paid as well as the appointed Ministers of the Executive branch of government. But their incomes are being researched. As soon as I get the info that I need, I will build a bonfire on their backs. I have to start somewhere. That’s why I am in your space right now.

    Some people may not like to hear it, but I am not a coward. I believe in self respect and respect for others irrespective of their demonic behavior. It’s not my style to shout profanities just because of a disagreement. I am not intimidated by anyone. I will say what’s on my mind. My intention is not to step on anyone’s toes. God knows my heart. But if I do, please forgive.

    What I have to say at the moment is this: Try to consider a pay cut. Doing so will make it easier for you, for Weah and for all Liberians.

    Peace.

  3. I didn’t mean to suggest that everyone out there is demonic. God forbid! I apologize because I didn’t express myself clearly. There are some people who are so cranky, they’ll say or write a load of bowl just for the heck of it. Well, I will not be a party to them. Never. That’s exactly what I meant. Sorry.

    Peace

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