Monrovia – The 53rd Legislature officially drew down its curtains Thursday, January 11, 2018 but defied the reasons for which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf extended its sixth session by nine days.
The President called for the extraordinary session of the Legislature “to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.”
These matters of national emergency and concern referred to by the President were the submission for 15 bills presented by the President Sirleaf for enactment.
The bills were received on Tuesday, January 10, 2018 by both Houses of the Legislature and were forwarded to the respective committees for review.
However, at Thursday’s session, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Nuquay, presiding over his last session as Speaker and a lawmaker, adjourned session without putting the any of the bills on the floor for deliberation.
Speaker Nuquay in his closing statement during session said there wasn’t enough time for the 53rd to act on the bills. He was it is quite prudent for the 54th Legislature to handle them with due diligence.
On Monday of this week, some lawmakers hinted this paper on the basis of anonymity that the Executive has withheld the Liberian dollar component of their benefits (the equivalent of US$500) until for the past six months pending the passage of the bills.
They also alleged that in one of their meetings with the President, she assured them that she would ensure their salaries and benefits for the November and December would be paid once the bills are passed.
They, however, said they won’t bow to President by enacting any bill under duress.
But the office of the President refuted the allegations.
Bills submitted include: Investment Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Dangote Cement Liberia Ltd; An Act Ratifying the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Export-Import Bank; An Act to Name Certain Roads and Bridges within the Republic of Liberia; A Bill to Amend Chapter 22 subsection 22.7 (a) of the Liberian National Police Act; 2015 and the Land Right Bill.
Other bills include: A bill to Amend section 6.1(5) of the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia, Title 4; Liberian Code of Laws Revised, Regarding Permits of Residence; A Bill to Ratify the Investment Incentive Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and the TIDFORE Investment Company and Liberia Steel and Cement Mining (LICEMCO) as well as An Act Repealing the Public Employment Law and Amending the Executive Law to Create a Civil Service Commission.
President Sirleaf also wanted legislative action on the following: Amendment to the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Firestone Liberia Inc.; A Bill to Ratify the Concession between the Republic of Liberia and Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI); The Domestic Violence Bill and Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia/CRC Propositions and an Act to Ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, amongst others.