Liberia’s ECOWAS Parliamentarians Highlight Progress, Challenges

Liberia's ECOWAS Parliament delegation.

In December Country Report

Liberian legislators at the ECOWAS Parliament have presented their Country Report,  on progress and challenges the country faced since its last report in May of this year.

Presentation of country reports at the ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature by the various lawmakers from the 15 ECOWAS countries  is part of routine legislative activities at the level of the regional parliamentarian body.

A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the December Country Report, presented yesterday covered the political and security situation in Liberia, the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS Community Levy, the ratification of community protocols and conventions, and the implementation of ECOWAS community programs.

The Country Report also touched on Liberia’s status on the implementation of ECOWAS infrastructural and transportation policies and programs, the status of the ECOWAS macroeconomic program as it relates to the level of achievement of convergence criteria and sensitization activities carried out by parliamentarians.

Montserrado County Representative Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. read the Country Report on behalf of the Liberian delegation. The members of the Liberian ECOWAS Parliamentarian Delegation are Montserrado County Senator George Manneh Weah, who is the head of the delegation and Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson. Others are Representative Jefferson Karmoh of Sinoe County, who is the Third Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, and Representative Haja Fatta Siryon of Bomi County.

On Liberia’s political situation, the Country Report says that the situation is relatively cordial despite the current electoral process: “As we may know, Liberia conducted presidential and representatives elections on 10th October, 2017. Seventy-three members of the House of Representatives were elected.”

The Report adds: “…..however, in keeping with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, for a candidate to be declared a winner for the presidency, the candidate must obtain not less than 50 percent plus one (50%+1) of the total votes cast. Of the twenty (20) candidates for the presidency, no one candidate reached such constitutional requirement.”

The Report then commented on the ongoing legal process surrounding the electoral process, disclosing that the Liberian Supreme Court is expected this week with a ruling on the status of the stay-order it placed on the process last month following a complaint from the Liberty Party, which finished third in the first round of votes.

“To this end, Liberians and the world are watching the legal process to see its logical conclusion. There has been a general atmosphere of calm among the parties and citizens,” a release quotes the Country Report.

Relative to the draw down of the United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL) a couple of months ago, the Report explains that the Government of Liberia through its relevant institutions that are responsible for dealing with security and combating terrorism, including the National Security Agency (NSA), the Ministry of National Defense and the Liberia National Police (LNP), have been working together to maintain peace and security.

On the economy, the release quotes the Report as saying that the outlook of the “Liberian economy appears gloomy premised on the outcome of the presidential election and enhancement of investments in infrastructure developments as well as the implementation of agricultural programs.”

The Report then adds that economic activities are expected to improve by the end of the first half of 2018.

The Liberian legislators also included in their Country Report Liberia’s continuous implementation of its regional integration commitments within the framework of the ECOWAS Single Currency Program.

Other aspects covered in the Report include the Status of Implementation of the Community Texts, Ratification of the Community Protocols and Conventions, Implementation of the Community Programs and Community Levy, and Liberia’s successful hosting of ECOWAS Mid-term Statutory Meetings between May and June of this year.

The Country Report concludes that Liberia continues to make considerable progress on the regional front, achieving key deliverables, according to the release.

The ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament which kicked off on November 21 will end on December 9, 2017.


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