Reports gathered by this paper indicate that the Constitution Review Committee or CRC hasunder pressure deleted proposition 25, seeking for Liberia to become a Christian State.
According to the report, CRC headed by former Chief Justice, Cllr. Gloria MusuScott,has deleted the proposition from its final report sent to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for approval. The controversial proposition 25 has instead, been replaced by dual citizenship, was hugely defeated in Gbarnga, Bong County during a review conference.
Liberians had voted overwhelmingly for a Christian State at that conference, pending a national referendum scheduled for 2016, but the Muslim community here is vehemently opposed to the proposition. Liberian Muslims have threatened to wage unrestricted civil disobedience, if such proposition were legislated.
When the CRC Chairperson, Cllr. Scott, was contacted, she could neither confirm nor deny, but urged this paper to wait until the final report is made public, which will be presented to the Liberian people in the near future.
“I cannot tell you anything now but I advised that you people wait when the report will be fully presented to the public for their perusal and inputs,” she said. In April year, a four-day National Constitutional Review Conference ended in Bong County with delegates predominantly Christians recommending for Liberia to become a “Christian nation.”
At the conference, Muslim groups lobbied unsuccessfully to defeat the controversial proposition, which they termed as discriminatory. The CRC, charged with reviewing the country’s 1986 constitution, had solicited suggestions from the public for possible amendments, including tenure of service for the Presidency, Legislators and Justices, as well as election of county superintendents, among others.
Cllr. Scott said the process accorded Liberians the opportunity to be part of the remaking of their constitution. She said the delegates approved most of the recommendations. “One of them was natural resources rights and that whatever income comes from the natural resources should benefit the people directly. The second thing that was approved was that the traditional leaders, the elders, the tribal people should have the right to own the land of their ancestors,” she said.
Going into the conference, Liberian women had argued for equal representation in “all elected, selected or appointed positions in both [the] public and private sectors.” She said the delegates approved proposition seeking for equal representation. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by Jonathan Browne