…..Cancel Constituency Break
The News has learnt that the usual annual constituency break taken by members of the Legislature in August will not be possible this year, as the lawmakers have jointly agreed to have it canceled.
As per law, the extension of legislative session is paid by the Executive, an amount that is usually undisclosed.
The Lawmakers have accordingly agreed and have already prepared a certificate of extension, approved by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to stay from September 1-December, 2017.
As members of the House of Representatives prepare to go to election in October, the return of some of them to the Capitol in January, 2018 will be determined by their victory.
This is the longest extension ever in the history of the 53rd Legislature in the last 11 years.
Conventionally, the Legislature, the first branch of government, embarks on its annual break on August 30, but extension by four months was triggered by the request of the President in accordance with Article 32 (b) of the 1986 Constitution.
It states that: “The President shall, on his/her own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special 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.”
Reason for this extension is not known, but sources closed to the Capitol said one fourth of both the Senate and House of Representatives have signed the proclamation to stay and avoid expenses.
Another side of the extension is that the lawmakers want to be around to act on any national issues that may occur.