The Senate yesterday unanimously voted to endorse recommendations by its Committee on Judiciary to reject a bill by Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais calling for the repeal of the Code of Conduct (CoC) in its entirety.
The nine-member committee chaired by Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman in its recommendation called for the bill to be rejected and set aside, “and if the Senate determines that there are any flaws in the 2014 CoC, such flaws should be handled by amendment, not repeal.”
The committee also recommended that considering that based on the issues raised by Sen. Morais with the CoC, and the recent decision of the Supreme Court, which undermines the code, “that a Special Committee be set up by the Senate to review the CoC, and make recommendations to the Senate sitting in the 54th Legislature.”
In the committee’s report, dated August 7, it noted “with grave concern that a repeal of the 2014 Code of Conduct would mean that Liberia would have no CoC until there is a replacement thereof.”
The Judiciary Committee also observed that a repeal of the 2014 Code of Conduct would then constitute a violation of the Constitution, which mandates that the Legislature shall prescribe a Code of Conduct. The committee noted that the decision is necessary for compliance with the Constitution.
It can be recalled that the Maryland County lawmaker last week submitted to Senate plenary a request calling for the repeal in its entirety of “The Act of the Legislature prescribing a National Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees” of the Government of Liberia (2014).
Morais in his three-page communication read before Senate plenary, argued that his action was in line with the cardinal purpose of the Code of Conduct as prescribed in its preamble, which “has now been reversed by the ruling of the Supreme Court.”