Head of the National Traditional Council, Chief Zanzan Karwor has said that the country’s future would be bright only if the National Legislature would accept all the recommendations that will be put forward by delegates attending the National Constitution Conference, in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Chief Karwor told the conference that “You have spoken and it rests with our lawmakers to accept what you have said.”
Speaking at the opening of the four day National Conference currently taking place at the Gbarnga Administrative building, in Bong County, Chief Karwor described the conference as a “bird in the hands of the Legislature.”
In his statement which was echoed by Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, he said, “Liberia is like a bird in their hands, and its survivability is left with how they would protect it.
“If they chose to squeeze it to death, it is left with them, but if they want it to live, they would release it to fly from their hands.”
Surprisingly, when it was time for Speaker Alex Tyler to speak, he said, ”You have succinctly delineated recurring views from the field and proposals that find consensus among citizens across the length and breadth of the land, including the 73 electoral districts throughout the 15 counties present.”
He added: “Without getting into the core substance of the discussion, which we shall later, I do like to sound out this caveat: we cannot and will not get all we are asking for in every instance. We must learn to give and take.”
Providing clarity on his statement, the Bomi County lawyer said, “For instance take my own county, Bomi, which happens to be first on the list. The very first (proposal) suggests that a presidential candidate should hold a Master’s degree.
“This proposal poses a serious problem to a citizen’s fundamental right to vote or to be voted for. This is committing an otherwise heinous crime for which she/he is prohibited from standing,” he stated.
“By all conventions and protocols advanced by the United Nations (UN) enshrined in international law, the right of a mature citizen to canvass and be elected to an office within his own state is sacrosanct and inviolate and any attempt to rescind or restrict that right would be ultra-virus,” he maintained.
According to him, it would be beyond the scope or in excess of legal power or authority. “Let us think about that one,” Speaker Tyler appealed.
Speaker Tyler queried, “Do you honestly want an elected Chief Justice for four years, who would be subject to the political currents, social pressures and economic machinations of the day?”
Recommendations from the conference will be sent to the National Legislature for concurrence by both Houses, which would automatically make it fit for a referendum to be conducted by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Among the recommendations are reduction in the terms of office of the president and members of the national legislature. The Traditional head is pushing for the lawmakers not to reject any of the recommendations.