Process to Review the Constitution Begins: Vice President Joseph N. Boakai urged Constitution Review Committee to take challenge with utmost seriousness and patriotism

Friday, 5th October 2012
Monrovia, Liberia -  President Joseph N. Boakai has told the consultative and interactive Forum organized by the Constitution Review Committee to take a closer look at the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia vis-a vis  the current realities saying the Government of Liberia stands in full support in the discharge of this national duty.

He said  given the caliber of citizens on the Committee to review the constitution, he has no doubt that the Committee is conscious of the herculean responsibility as manifested in the character and reputation each of the Committee members had built over the years.

The Vice President was speaking Friday in Lakpazee, Sinkor when he made remarks at the opening of a one day consultative and interactive forum under the aegis of the constitution Review Committee, appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to review the constitution.
Vice President Boakai urged the Committee to know that the task before them calls for inputs from every segment of the population, stressing, ‘we want the Liberian people to take full ownership of the product that you will fashion”. He added, “for it is only then that it will rise to become that binding document that the Liberian people will not justify freely, but also gladly, cast their votes for with such unanimous chorus, come any referendum”, the Vice President’s went on to say.

 A release from the Office of the Vice President said He then conveyed to the stakeholders and the constitution review committee President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s warmest greetings and good wishes for productive interactions.

Speaking earlier, the Chairperson of the Constitution Review Committee , Former Chief Justice of Liberia,Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott said the mandate of the CRC include the review of the 1986 constitution to make it conform to post conflict realities of Liberia.

This she said  this include been thorough, substantive and not superficial as well as sufficient participation of Liberians at home and abroad in the review process.
She described their job as a” critical national task.”

The Diplomatic corps represented by German Ambassador to Liberia said” they look forward to good results in the deliberations”, while the civil society representative noted that they would like to be represented every step of the way. The civil society representative also pointed out that the release of timely information was crucial in order to make intelligent decisions in the process.

The Chamber of commerce representative in his remarks commended the Government of Liberia for the foresight in establishing the CRC, and encouraged the committee to reflect the current aspiration of the Liberian people and to make sure that the Liberian populace is educated on the issues at stake. He said the development of local content law was crucial to the process, as well as the strengthening of the capacity of state institutions including the protection of the civil service.

The representative of the Federation of Liberian Youth spoke of the ambiguity of certain provisions of the constitution and said that the importance of this process cannot be over emphasized and urged all stakeholders to approach the process with open minds.

Speaking for the Liberia National Bar Association, Cllr. Cyril Jones also the LNBA immediate past president pledged the Bar’s legal expertise to the Committee.

The political party representative said the review process was for the parties a primary responsibility confronted by 21st century challenges and look forward to consultations. They political party representative said they have already identified key areas of concern in the review process and said they will work with the committee.

A representative from the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives said considering the past and current realities there was need to review the constitution and made specific reference to Article 6 of the organic document.

Dr. Elwood Dunn a member of the CRC in his welcome remarks said this was the first significant contact with the public and said that constitution making involves an approach from below upwards and that the CRC were facilitators and enablers.

In her annual message to the 53rd Legislature last January the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she saw it as her national duty to rekindle the hopes of the Liberian people in the democratic course this nation has embarked upon.

In August of this year she appointed a Constitution Review Committee headed by ex-Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia and now professor of Law, Gloria Musu Scott.

The Good Governance Commission headed by Former IGNU President and former Dean of Liberia College, Political scientist, Dr. Amos Sawyer is ex-officio to the CRC, and the Law Reform Commission headed by Law Professor Jallah Barbu is also ex-officio to the CRC.
Others are Rev. Kennedy Sandy, Dr. Elwood Dunn, Amelia Ward and Hon. Soko Sackor.