President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Monday, January 27, announced that the Executive Branch of Government has sent several Bills to the 53rd Legislature for enactment and/or ratification, among them the Bill to Repeal All Repressive Laws found in statutes and decrees of the defunct People’s Redemption Council (PRC).
Delivering her Annual Message before the joint session of the 53rd Legislature in the Joint Chamber of the Legislature at the Capitol Building, President Sirleaf reminded the lawmakers that Liberia was among the first African countries to sign the Table Mountain Declaration calling for the decriminalization of the freedom of expression.
“Any specific law that retards the promotion of our fledgling democracy should be abolished. Therefore, we will submit for your consideration a Bill to repeal all repressive laws that are found in statutes and decrees of the PRC.”
Another Bill announced by President Sirleaf that received an ovation from the lawmakers, is one for National Wild Life Conservation for the Management and Protection of Liberia’s forest, which she said is in keeping with the Forest Reform Law of 2006 that requires government to keep 1.5 million hectares of forest land under protection.
“We will submit a Bill to establish the Gola National Park,” she also proclaimed.
Other Bills announced by President Sirleaf Monday for the Senate’s consideration include: the Bill to Create Special Economic Zones in Liberia; the Bill to Establish the Energy Law to Govern the Energy Sector; the Bill to Ratify the Loan Agreement between the NPA and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for the Port of Greenville Rehabilitation Project: the Bill to Amend the Judiciary Law to Create Criminal Court F of the First Judicial Circuit in Montserrado County and a Special Division of the Circuit Courts in other counties to have exclusive original jurisdictions over corruption and the basic economic and financial crimes; the Bill to Ratify the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and other substances; the Bill to Amend the Executive Law Chapter 22 on the Ministry of Justice Chapter F to establish the Drug Enforcement Agency, the new control, drug and substance Act; the Bill to Establish the Security Market in Liberia; the New Local Government Act in Harmony with the National Policy Designed to more efficiently render services in a decentralized manner, an amendment to the public health law to add another chapter on mental health; a Bill on the Charter of the University of Liberia, an amendment to the 1989 Act creating the National Commission on Higher Education, and a Bill to Ratify the National Tourism Authority.
Other important Bills sent to the 53rd Senate during its third session are ones to revise the 1972 Act that created the John F. Kennedy Medical Center to respond to international best practices and development in the healthcare delivery system.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf Monday thanked members of the second session of the 53rd Legislature for their cooperation in passing into law several pieces of legislation, amounting to 46 Bills which she received, but urged them to consider the passage of other Bills that have been submitted, but remain under consideration in particular, the Bill to Amend the Penal Code by providing the Criminal Conveyance of the Land; and the Bill Establishing the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission to provide direct prosecutorial power among others.