The Constitution Review Committee (CRC) is ready to begin its civic education campaign focused on discussing with Liberians changes they want made to the 1986 Constitution. As a result, scores of residents in Monrovia have pointed out the change of tenures of the President, Senators and Representatives as the first thing they want changed.
Many Liberians the Daily Observer spoke to in Sinkor, mainly in the Fiahma and 20th Street areas, raised concerns that copies of the constitution were not available to them. In spite of this setback, they had managed to hear about the tenures of President and Legislators and felt the time allotted them is too much for an individual to serve.
According to the hundreds of Liberians eager to have their views heard and documented, there are other qualified individuals coming out of schools that need jobs too, therefore, the tenures for these nationally elected leaders should be reduced to allow “fresh faces” to take office.
This concern of reduction in the tenures of elected leaders seems to have been generated prior to the formation of the Constitution Review Committee and launching of its civic education campaign.
In a joint view from these communities, Liberians want the tenures of the President and Representatives to be reduced to four years and Senators’ reduced to six years.
The 1986 Constitution sets aside six years for President, six for Representatives and nine for Senators.
Each of these elected officials can seek second terms of office dependent upon on whether they still enjoy public confidence.
The CRC’s civic education campaign is meant to seek community consultation from citizens by soliciting their views on what they want to be amended in the constitution. The campaign also encourages citizens to write their views and submit them to the committee so they can eventually be submitted to the President.
Upon viewing the suggestions that have the highest number of people supporting them, the President will submit them to the National Legislature for debate and a referendum will be called.
Due to what he felt was Liberia’s “bureaucracy intensive environment,” an elderly man in the People’s United Community between the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and the Atlantic Ocean doubted whether what they suggest would be considered at all.
The local resident— who did not want his named called— indicated that this particular change directly affects the Legislature, and as such he believes they would likely ignore this suggestion in order to keep themselves in power.