Traditional Chiefs Want Article 30 Revisited

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Traditional leaders of Liberia are opting for a Constitutional review process aimed at amending Article 30a of the 1986 Constitution.

Article 30a requires that “Citizens of Liberia who meet the following qualifications are eligible to become members of the Legislature: (A) For the Senate, have attained the age of 30 years and for the House of Representatives, have attained the age of 25 years.”

According to the Chairman of the National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL), Chief Zanzan Karwor, the required age for those wanting to occupy said position is “solely responsible for the unpleasant behavior of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.”

He noted that until the required age is adjusted through a constitutional process, the conduct of lawmakers, particularly those of the House, will continue to bring shame to the Liberian society.

In his wisdom, Chief Karwor believes that more values need to be added to the first branch of government so that the conduct of business in both houses could represent the views and aspirations of the entire country.

“How can a 25 year old be representative in the House and all they do there is about boyfriends and girlfriends business. Whole day in the House, all we find them doing is fighting over money; everyday money, money business. We need to look at that part of the Constitution that talks about who is qualified to be lawmaker. If we do that, we will stop plenty of the things that [are] going on in the House,” the Traditional Chief declared.

Judging from these situations in the country, Karwor said, “Liberia is now beyond repair and things are not improving.”

The Traditional leaders’ assertion is in response to recent standoff on Capitol Hill involving Representatives Roland Opee Cooper and Bill Corneh, of Margibi and Bong Counties respectively.

In that commotion, it was established that Opee Cooper physically assaulted his Bong County counterpart when Corneh attempted to calm him (Opee) doing a heated debate in the House’s chamber.

According to Chief Karwor, such action does not represent a group of people with high moral integrity, and as such, Liberians must consider changing the rules in order to bring dignity to the Capitol Building.

Chief Karwor made the assertions yesterday at a two-day forum organized by Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) held under the theme: “Working with Traditional leaders to enhance citizens’ participation in LEITI implementation.”  

According to LEITI Head of Secretariat Konah D. Karmo, traditional leaders’ participation in LEITI implementation remains cardinal to the work of the organization.

Presenting a lecture on the topic: “The LEITI Process — A benefit for every Liberian”, Karmo encouraged traditional leaders to lead the way in making sure that companies and concessionaires abide by commitments on the book for affected communities and people.

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