With two of her kids holding the Holy Bible, Jewel Howard-Taylor takes oath of office as Vice President of the Republic of Liberia following President Weah's oath, according to the Liberian inauguration “Protocol and Precedence” Some legislators say this is out-of-order and obsolete. (Photo: Sando J. Moore/IMAGES Magazine)

 – President before Vice President or Vice President before President?

Members of the 54th Legislature on Monday, January 22, held its first Joint Session for the administration of Oaths for President George Weah and Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor.

The Daily Observer has reliably gathered that members of the House of Representatives and the Senate are considering reviewing the “Inaugural Proceedings” especially the protocol or precedence of the President to be inaugurated before the Vice President.

Monday’s inauguration was in consonance with Article 50 of the Constitution: “…the president shall be elected by universal adult suffrage of registered voters in the Republic and shall hold office for a term of six years commencing at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections….”

This newspaper also gathered that the legislature is poised to make a change to the “Protocol and Precedence” for the President to be sworn-in before the Vice President, which they say is obsolete and out-of-order.

Before the luncheon hosted by the Joint Legislative Committee on Election and Inauguration after the adjournment of the Special Joint Session at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex, scores of Representatives and Senators said the country’s Constitution is closely modeled after the United States of America, “but there is dissimilarity in the inaugural protocol, which should be corrected through appropriate legislation.”

The spokesperson of the “Change in Protocol or Precedence,” Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Karpaiye, Chairman on the Senate’s Election and Commission, said the protocol is outdated and needs reform, and he hopes the 54th Legislature would “act” going forward to have the Vice President sworn-in before the President.

The outgoing House Election and Inauguration chairman, Representative Gabriel Smith, said: “We made the recommendation, but for the sake of protocol and precedence and the time frame, it was not allowed. But I hope as l gathered, the 54th Legislature will correct it.”

It is yet to be known whether the “discussion for the change or protocol” would be placed on the floor during the 1st session of the 54th Legislature.

The legislature is expected to hold its 2nd Special Joint Session on Monday, January 29, at which time the President, George Weah, will present his “administration’s legislative agenda” for 2018, in accordance to Article 58 of the Liberian Constitution.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, you guys should be concern about the suffering going on in the country rather than protocol stuff, wasting time on little things while the people are perishing.

    Protocol legislation is not a priority, is that the way to slow President Weah down? Unnecessary stuff for big salaries?

  2. There will be no “Vice President” if there is no President. So the founding Fathers have it right however odd it may seem.
    Employ the Principal before the Assistant.

  3. It should be reverse. the vice president -elect should be take the oath of office before the president-elect for the simple but important reason of installing a new government. The case in point is that God forbids, if something were to happen to the president- elect before he takes the oath, the vice president , who has already taken the oath would take over as the newly elected president and not the continuation of the outgoing president or the speaker.

  4. Please, go to business. This is econdary matter. Go to work and act accordignly to seek the wlefare of the people of Liberians. That’s should be priority, after all we have 6 more years to think about it or change the procedure. What is impotant now is the people and how to end corruption and move the country forward.
    please no need to waste precious timeof the President.

  5. The Liberian people have spoken, the protocol can be arrange in another time. If there is no president, there is no vice- president. The president going first, it’s ok with lots of Liberians. What matter now is doing the work for the Liberian people and help move the country faster.

  6. Shame on ur, since ur cannot look ahead to develop ur country but sit there to look at stupidness ur called out of order. I thought by now ur would have been slashing ur pay for development.

  7. I hope he (opong) doesn’t walk in the shadow of the pervious corrupt madam sirleaf’s administration. she goes down in history as one of the most corrupt African leaders. These are the kind of leader making insignificant trump referring to the Mother Land (Africa) as shit holes… madam sirleaf shows no love for Liberia, but to enrich herself and those that are closer to her…well-done & well-done madam sirleaf go in your shame & disgrace!!!!!!!! accountability to Liberian will hunt you forever. I ask the Almighty God that you all stolen wealth from the poor Liberian people fail to bear fruits to enjoy… A man!

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