…As Legislature Adjourned Session
By A. Omaska Jallah
The 53rd Legislature has ignored a request made by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to enact 15 laws in less than seven days before the adjournment of that august body.
As per the power vested in her by Article 32 (b), President Sirleaf requested the lawmakers to stay on for additional nine days beginning January 4, 2018 for the purpose of enacting 15 bills before their final adjournment.
According to Article 32(b) of the Liberian Constitution, “The President shall, on his own initiative or upon the receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by a proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond for adjournment or call a special or extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.”
In her recent communication to the Legislature, Johnson-Sirleaf said her reason to ask lawmakers to stay for additional nine days was to obtain legislative actions on some important draft bills, which she claimed are vital to the economy and revenue generation.
Some of the bills she considered for passage before the adjournment of the 53rd Legislature include: the investment incentive agreement between Liberia and Dangote Cement Liberia Limited; an act ratifying the agreement for the establishment of the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), an act to name certain roads and bridges in the county; a bill to amend chapter 22 subsection 22.76 (a) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Act of 2015; land rights bill and a bill to amend section 6.1 (5) of the aliens and nationality law of Liberia, title 4, Liberia code of laws revised, regarding permits of residence, among others.
These bills were never discussed or placed on the agenda of both houses of the Legislature.
The lawmakers adjourned their respective sessions Thursday, January 11, 2018.
The failure of the Legislature to act on the president’s bills has created setback for Johnson-Sirleaf in her final days of leadership.