Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Battle of the Powers? House of Representatives Wants Sirleaf Probed For Altering Legislations

Monrovia - The House of Representatives has unanimously voted to investigate what they call President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s usual habit of editing legislations when tabled before her to sign into law.
The lawmakers argued it was not the president’s prerogative to add or subtract wordings to laws enacted by them in order to suit her desire. The lawmakers maintained the president is only given authority by the constitution to veto laws that may be deemed inimical to national interest.

As a step to taking the issue up with the president, the body decided they will thoroughly review all journals of laws enacted by the erstwhile 52nd and the current 53rd legislature.

 Among reasons for the review, the house wants to compare existing laws as printed into handbills with the journals in order to be sure of those the president has unilaterally changed in violation of the constitution. 

The house reached the decision during Tuesday’s plenary in accordance with a communication forwarded by Representative James Biney of Maryland County.

Representative Biney’s communication was prompted by claims that the president has tampered with an agreement they rectified a few years back concerning the operation of Cavalla Rubber Company.

According to Mr. Biney, the 52nd Legislature in rectifying the Cavalla contract, deleted a portion contained therein, given the Cavalla management a monopoly over the entire land.

The bill that was sent them by the president stated under sections 5.7 and 5.6 that no other shall have the right to operate near Cavalla unless such operation was sixty (60) kilometers away from its operational areas.

In specific terms, the bill sated that government shall not, during the term of the concession agreement, without the investor’s written approval, grant any license to any government entity to or third party to construct or operate any oil and rubber processing plant within sixty (60) kilometers away from the borders of Cavalla’s operational areas.

That portion was deleted by the 52nd legislature on grounds that it amounted to giving cavalla monopoly, Biney said.  The president allegedly inserted the said portion and printed same into handbills to suggest that the lawmakers approved it.

“Instead of the president vetoing the act on the basis that we deleted sections 5.6 and 5.7 as she wanted, she secretly inserted them, which was tantamount to nullifying the contracts” Biney’s communication stated.

Concluding, he called for the revocation of all contracts in which the president made insertions and published into handbills without their consent so that the appropriate corrective actions can be taken.

Meanwhile the communication was widely supported by nearly all lawmakers in Tuesday’s plenary with others pinpointing cases in which the president has committed similar violations.

The lawmakers were of the conviction that the president’s action was not in violation of the constitution nut criminal in nature, as such, she must be summoned before the body to provide explanation.

Representative George Mulbah in support of Biney, also called for the revision of all laws that were enacted by both the 52nd and the current 53rd legislature to ensure that they were published into handbills as was written by them.


Representative Acarous Gray said that a comparative analysis should be made between the existing laws and the journals of the legislators, out of which the laws were printed into handbills. According to Gray, this will set a precedent against such corrupt practice as the one done by the president.


Others argued that the president must abide by the separation of power doctrine as well as provisions of the constitution that all powers is inherent in the people, as directly represented by those of the august body.


For his part, Representative Gabriel termed the president action as calculated and deliberate attempt to undermine the legislature and should not go unpunished.

“This is not the first of its kind on the part of the president, which should not be seen as mistake, because mistakes are made only for the first time, but not when they made for the second, third and fourth time”, Smith said.

 He added that the executive has on many occasions violated the constitution of this country and gone with impunity and should not it this time around.

“Let her not take this body to be a sleeping dog, because we are not a sleeping dog”, he added.

 Following the heated debate, the lawmakers finally agreed that a formal communication be forwarded to the president, indicating their resolve to investigate the matter to the letter.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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