Ellen Accused of Violation
Members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature have accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of violating the National Budget Law, which is strongly supported by the 2011 Public Financial Management law.
Section 10.1 of the law states that the Executive Branch shall submit the National budget to Liberian Legislature not later than the April 10 of each budget year.
The lawmakers, mostly members of the opposition bloc, said instead of adhering to the law, President Sirleaf on yesterday wrote the first branch of government stating that the submission of 2012/2013 National Budget would delay up to the May 30.
Grand Bassa County Representative Byron Brown, during the regular session of the House of Representatives, accused President Sirleaf of willfully violating both the Public Financial Management and national budget laws of Liberia without observing the timetable regarding the submission of the draft budget.
The Liberty Party Lawmaker described the action by the president as an insult to the Legislature and entire Liberian population.
According to him, President Sirleaf should have communicated with the Legislature ahead of the April 10 deadline to afford them time to draft and subsequently pass a resolution for delay in the submission so as to be with the confines of the laws.
According to him, the President’s decision to call for the delay in the submission of the national budget about month long is also intended to stall the development agenda of the country.
The President’s communication attributed the delay to the fact that the expected draft budget for this year was a multi-budget which is intended for three years, describing the metrology used as strange in the Liberian political terrain and budget planning of the country.
She also highlighted that the conduct of the presidential and legislative elections, as well as the subsequent inauguration of the government gave rise to the delay of the budget.
Also Speaking, Sinoe County Lawmaker Matthew Zarzar said that though the president might be in error in the submission, it was important that his colleagues accepted her request in the interest of coordination between the branches of government.
The presiding officer, Grand Kru County L Representative George Wesseh Blamoh called for a motion of acceptance supported by the Unity Party lawmakers.