MONROVIA, Jan. 25 (LINA) –President George Manneh Weah, in consonance with Article 58 of the Liberian Constitution, delivered his fourth State of the Nation address Monday to the Joint Assembly of the 54th Legislature with continued commitment to “working with all lawmakers so that together, with [our] collective effort, we will serve that Liberian people well.”
Political pundits suggest there have been minimal efforts on the part of opposition lawmakers to obstruct progress in the assembly to stall the Executive Branch’s agenda; notwithstanding, President Weah’s call for continued collaboration could simply be a reminder for patriotism.
This means he wants zero partisan and trivial approaches to issues that clearly will help improve the economy, the justice and security sector, and address hunger and basic social services, including education, health, and electricity – in other words, transform the living condition of the population.
One national development deliverable that remains very significant to the government, in the spirit of the national development framework (Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development) is road infrastructure.
The president underlined in his speech that interconnecting county capitals by asphalt pavement remains a key program of his Administration.
The government believes that good roads throughout the country will be central to lifting the living standard of the population and adding value to trade and commerce, and agriculture.
Moreover, the President admitted that during the previous legislative session – the Third Session, the Executive “enjoyed” collaboration with the Legislature which resulted in the passage by that August body and subsequent signing into law by him, some 26 legislation as well as several ratified financing agreements in the sole national interest.
Legislative leaders have been urged by the President to speedily discuss and pass into law outstanding bills “important” to the development agenda of the Government.
The Liberian leader, who equally hinted an amendment to certain restrictive judicial laws, outlined the pending proposed legislation as: The Whistleblower, Witness Protection Bill; the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing Preventive Measures & Proceeds of Crime Act – 2019; the Revised Public Health Law of Liberia; and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance Tax Matters.
Other proposed legislation submitted for action are an Act to Establish the Liberia Standard Authority; Act to Establish the Civil Service Commission; the Revised/Restated Charter of the University of Liberia; the Maritime Zone Act- 2020; and an Act to Endorse the National Youth Policy of Liberia.
Special Senatorial elections and two by-elections were held in December and ushered in new lawmakers—many coming from the opposition and independents -signaling the potential for some level of filibustering on key national subjects, especially in the senate during the Fourth Session.
As the President wants that kind of amiability to continue, putting country first, he congratulated and urged the senators who retained their seats in the by-poll, new senators, and winners of the Representative by-election in Montserrado and Sinoe counties – to work in the interest of their constituencies and the nation, bearing in mind the oath of office they’ve taken.
Mr. Weah passionately called on all Liberians and residents to continue to respect diversity despite the varied political, ethnic backgrounds and disagreeing respectfully for the sake of peace and progress.