President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Says Consultation Shows Desire For Revisit Of Constitution
GBARNGA, March 31 (LINA) -President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says Liberians, through a series of national consultations, have shown and made clear their strong desire to see adjustments made to the country’s 1986 Constitution.
Highlighting some of the national consultations where these views resonated, she named Vision 2030, Land Reform and the Decentralization Initiative as a few of the many national consultations where Liberians have expressed the resilient desire to see modifications to the Constitution.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the statement when she delivered the keynote address at the opening of a five-day National Constitution Conference at the Administration Building in Gbarnga, Bong County on Monday, March 30.
“We gather here today to learn what our people have been saying about our Constitution and how it might be improved to further their aspirations. We also come to carry forward the review process in strict adherence to the Constitution now in force,” President Sirleaf stressed.
She made it clear that Constitution review does not stand alone, but is rather situated in the broader framework of Government’s reformation and transformation agenda.
Touching on the expressions of the nationwide consultations, the Liberian leader indicated that there is an overwhelming desire for changes in governance arrangements in all three branches of government, as well as additional norms and values not historically reflected in the Constitution.
She observed that these include the message of hope and renewal implanted in the August 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement that marked the end of Liberia’s civil war.
President Sirleaf stressed that as Liberians have vented their feelings about how they are being governed and making clear the explicit changes they would like to see, she urged the Conference to focus its attention on issues for constitutional amendments as all of the other issues raised during the consultations are either already being addressed by government or will be addressed in due course.
She thanked all Liberians for availing themselves of the opportunity to freely and frankly express themselves as they have done in the interest and future of their country.
She assured them that government hears them clearly and will act appropriately.
On the way forward, the Liberian leader indicated that process is categorized into three phases.
Phase One is the ongoing National Constitutional Conference; Phase Two will be the Executive submitting to the Legislature a document that reflects the concerns and aspirations of the people in a timely manner; while Phase Three will have the Legislature dispossess and submit a set of proposals to a national referendum.
President Sirleaf urged all state actors to play their role in the supreme interest of the people so at the end, there will be a revised or amended Constitution that all Liberians can truly call their own.