Referendum in Final Face-off

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House solicits signatures to approve resolution on the bill of referendum

After two years of consultations, debates and retreats, the Lower House is soliciting signatures for two-third of its members (constituting 48 persons) to approve the “Resolution on the Bill of Referendum” for subsequent transmission to the Senate to set the agenda for the referendum. Upon the agreement of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the House of Representatives and Senate, the Bill of Referendum will be submitted to the National Elections Commission (NEC).

Yesterday, in his Capitol Hill office, the chairman of the committee on Good Governance & Government Reform, Nimba County District # 8 Representative Larry Younquoi told scores of journalists that as of tomorrow, Thursday, August 17, the chief clerk is expected to solicit signatures from lawmakers; and thereafter, forward it to the Senate for concurrence. Rep. Younquoi said the Legislature has resolved to approve the “Bill of Referendum” before their last break on August 30. The decision was reached in an Executive Session on Tuesday, August 15, wherein the House Plenary finally and unanimously mandated chief clerk Mildred Sayon to prepare the “Resolution for the Bill of Referendum” for at least 48 Representatives to affix their signatures to it.

It may be recalled that on August 13, 2015, President Sirleaf wrote the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives (in session) and submitted 25 propositions from the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) for prompt Legislative action in line with Article 91 of the 1986 Constitution. The President’s letter on the referendum was sent to the Joint Committee on Good Governance & Government Reform and Elections & Inauguration. Members of the House will act on several propositions on Thursday, August 17 during the fourth day sitting of the Second Extraordinary Session, based on a report from the Joint Committee on Good Governance and Governance Reform, Judiciary and Elections and Inauguration.

Meanwhile, the House Plenary also acted on several proposals as the Agenda for Referendum for the constitutional amendments. The agenda includes the reduction in the presidential and legislative tenures from six to four years and from nine (9) to six years, respectively. The propositions are to reduce the tenures of the President, Vice President and Representatives from six to four years while the term of Senators is to be trimmed down from nine years to six years. The reduction in the tenure of the president and legislators is one of the several propositions recommended by the Constitutional Review Committee for a referendum. Others are affirmative action, which calls for a proportional representation for the physically challenged, women and youth, and the election of city mayors.

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is how legislation should be passed . Perhaps the referendum will take place this year , and decision from the referendum such as the reduction in terms limit will not take place until the next general elections. Those are elected before the referendum will continue to serve their time. Even if a lawmaker should passed, the referendum will not have any effect on the next elected person . But the Code of Conduct which was passed into law 2014 in anticipation of the 2017 general elections had a resignation clause in it for two to three years for all appointees of the Executive. All things considered, than the Code should have taken place in the next general elections. No one appointed by the President is anticipating the death of any lawmaker in order to resign their post two to three years before the death of the lawmaker occurred . Something that the Code did not address . The constitution allowed for a limited time when such vacancy must be filled upon the death of a lawmaker . With that being said, it is fair to say that all political appointees are excluded to seek the legislative office upon the death of a lawmaker since they are required to resign their post two to three years . Now we all are aware that some changes made to the constitution through the referendum will not take effect until the next general elections . Bravo, bravo on this one . Hope the political confusionlist will not start finding fault on this referendum as they are doing with the Code which was not written properly and should have taken effect in the next general elections .

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