- Published on Monday, 08 October 2012 11:36
- Written by The NEWS Newspaper
On Friday, October 5, the Body appointed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to review the country's Constitution officially began its mandate.
The body, known as the Constitution Review Committee (CRC), established in August this year, is to review the 1986 Constitution and make recommendations, where necessary for amendments.
The President appointed five Liberians, including former Maryland County Senator Gloria Musu-Scott, Chairperson, Dr. Elwood Dunn, Rev. Kennedy Sandy, Mrs. Amelia Ward and Mr. Soko Sackor, members; while Chairmen of the Governance Commission (GC) and the Law Reform Commission are ex-officious.
The Committee is expected to carry out its functions through public forum to ensure the Constitution is in confirmative with the country's post-conflict democratic realities.
Critical among its mandate, the Committee is to review the term of offices of the president, vice president, legislators, judges and justices to determine whether they require amendment.
Now, while we agreed that the current Constitution needs critical review to meet with today's realities after nearly 26 years, we want to insist that this process should not be intended to suit certain political interests.
Article 50 of the Constitution states that, “The Executive Power of the Republic shall be vested in the President who shall be Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia. The President shall be elected by universal adult suffrage of registered voters in the Republic and shall hold office for a term of six years commencing at noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the elections. No person shall serve as President for more than two terms.”
While we agreed with legal minds in the country that certain portions of our Organic Law are ambiguous and do meet current realities, we don't believe that those ambiguities include Article 50; especially the concluding sentence that, “No person shall serve as President for more than two terms.”
We strongly believe that this provision is clear and could well be understood by everyone with no further clarity; and needs not to be tampered with.
There are suspicions that this review process could be a Subterfuge to create room for people perpetuate themselves in power.
Notwithstanding, with the caliber of citizens, manifested in the character and reputation that each of the committee members has built for themselves over the years, we, like every well-meaning Liberian, look to a review process that is done with all level of caution and a work that will defy suspicions and second guess.
We therefore, urged that process must defy tampering.