Dear Mr. Speaker:
As follow up to my communications dated August 7, 2014 laying before you the facts and circumstances necessitating the declaration of the state of emergency, and in exercise of the emergency powers granted and in keeping with the need for emergency powers granted under Article 86 A and B, which are imperative to contain the spread and bring an end to the Ebola epidemic, please find below measures being undertaken restricting/suspending certain fundamental rights of Liberian citizens.
This letter constitutes our formal request to the Legislature approving these measures:
- Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Alteration of Election Time and Manner. The President may by proclamation, alter the period and manner provided for under the constitution of elections, by which the people cause their public servants to leave office or to fill vacancies. Provided, however, that no deviation from the constitutionally prescribed period shall cause the extension or reduction of any term of office therein prescribed;
- Article 12 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Labor. The President may, by proclamation, procure certain labor or services during this state of emergency;
- Article 13 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Free Movement. The President may, by proclamation, limit the movements of certain individuals, groups or communities as the case may be to prevent the further spread or contain the epidemic in certain areas;
- Article 14 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Religious Restriction. The President may, by proclamation, restrict certain religious practices, generally or specifically, if she finds that such practice further endangers the public health and contributes to the spread of the virus;
- Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Restriction on speech. The President may, by proclamation or executive action, prevent any citizen, groups of citizens or any entity protected under Article 15 of the constitution from making any public statement in person, by print or electronic, which may have the tendency of undermining the State of Emergency, confusing the public on the nature of the health care threat, or otherwise causing a state of panic about the health care or security condition of the nation;
- Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Assembly. The President may by proclamation, limit the right to assembly for any reason;
- Article 24 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Appropriation of Property The President may, by proclamation, appropriate any private property or prevent the use thereof in order to protect the public health and safety during the state of emergency without payment of any kind or any further judicial process. Provided however, that the property will be released to the rightful owners upon the end of the state of emergency and that the Government pays for any damages thereto.