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Lawmakers...Lawmakers Oppose Executive Order 65

Fourteen lawmakers representing various Districts in Montserrado County have emphatically denounced and condemned the issuance of an Executive Order No. 65 by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

 

The lawmakers described the executive order No.65 as “draconian” and therefore mandated her to rescind and retract the order forthwith.

In a statement issued December 5, 2014, the lawmakers categorically rejected any semblance of the return to junta rule and despotism.

“We, the undersigned fourteen duly elected representatives of the people of Montserrado County present, do hereby emphatically denounce and condemn the draconian executive order No.65 issued by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on December 4, 2014. Cognizant of the fact that the Liberian constitution of January 6, ,1986 as enshrined in articles 1, 13, 15 and 17 which guarantee democratically cherished inalienable right, we categorically reject any semblance of the return to junta rule and despotism,” the Legislators accentuated in the statement.

Hence, the Montserrado County Lawmakers unanimously cautioned the president to immediately rescind and retract such a “tyrannical order” which, they say, has the proclivity to thwart the country's nascent democracy.

With this position, the lawmakers indicated that there shall be no reversal of the democratic gains which Liberians have achieved through the blood and sweat of their compatriots.

“We want to assure you, our fellow citizens that we will do everything within the ambiance of the law to protect the constitution of which we are under oath to uphold. It is quite suspicious that Executive order No.65 deliberately and with a sinister motive chose to antagonize only Montserrado county where the son of the president is contesting and flagrantly violating the mandate of the Supreme Court and the National Election Commission with impunity,” lawmakers stressed.

Considering the significant role played by Liberia's partners, the lawmakers informed international partners who have been very supportive of democracy to take due cognizance of the creeping threat to the country's fledging democratic governance.

Last Thursday, December 4,  President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued Executive Order No. 65 ordering all concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia during the ensuing special elections, including in particular rallies, demonstrations and parades prohibited and for 30 days after the announcement of election results.

According to an Executive Mansion release, Executive Order No. 65, signed by the Liberian leader, is intended to strengthen the efforts of the Government of Liberia to contain the spread of Ebola, protect the security of the State, maintain law and order, and promote peace and stability in the country.

Executive Order No. 65 also stated that the existing law requiring persons desiring to march or demonstrate to obtain prior permits from the Ministry of Justice have proven ineffective to address rallies, parades and concerted mass movements on the streets of Monrovia and its environs.

The government said it noted with concern the increasing number of incidents of concerted mass movements of people on the streets of Monrovia and its environs, including in particular rallies, demonstrations, and parades, which have led to persistent and frequent violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of Liberia, obstruction of the free flow of traffic and the movement of peaceful citizens, the disruption of economic activities, and concomitant panic in the City with total disregard of the consequences thereof.

Executive Order No. 65 indicated that to allow the said conduct to continue with impunity and without control, will frustrate efforts to contain the Ebola virus disease in Liberia, undermine the security of the State and the maintenance of law and order, and negatively impact the economy.

The government did not state any specific reference, however, on last Friday, senatorial candidate, Ambassador George Weah pulled a massive crowd when he launched his campaign in Monrovia. Tens of thousands of CDCians turned out in a clear show of support for Mr. Weah. There are also reports that opposition political parties will protest the action of the government.