The Constitution Review Committee or CRC has gathered views of 18,000 Liberians that would lead to changes in provisions of the Constitution of Liberia thru a national referendum.
CRC chairperson Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, said the Committee visited all 73 electoral districts across the country and collected a total of 56,729 views from citizens.
Addressing a daily press briefing Thursday at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill, she said of this figure, 36,976 suggestions came from males and 19, 753 from females, saying, one woman along made about 18 suggestions.
She said citizens suggested that tenure for the Liberian Presidency should reduce from six to four years, and a person aspiring for the nation’s highest seat must be at least 40, and above with a college degree, adding that a total of 8, 695 citizens supported or expressed these views.
Cllr. Scott, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, said citizens also want tenure for the Liberian Senate reduced from nine to six years, and a candidate for the senate must be a resident of Liberia and have a farm in his home county, while tenure for members of the House of Representatives should be reduced from six to four years and a candidate for the House must have a farm and reside here. She said about 8,192 citizens out of the 18,000 persons interviewed expressed proposition.
Liberians also suggested during the exercise that superintendents, city mayors and town chiefs should be elected, while paramount chiefs be elected through traditional protocol.
In rural areas, residents said chiefs and community leaders should be placed on government payroll. According to them, community leaders do more work than paramount chiefs and their representatives because they are the first person of contact when a stranger visits the community.
They also stressed on how community, individual and tribal people can share mineral resources, adding that any resources found on ancestral land, tribal people should participate in the transactions.
The over 18,000 Librarians are opposed to dual citizenship, and want the Board of Commissioners of the national Elections Commission to be elected, while voting age should be increased from 18 to 21.
The CRC chairperson said NEC commissioners suggested that election date should not be set by the Constitution based on their experience from the deadly Ebola virus outbreak, which created huge controversy for the conduct of the December 20th Special Senatorial Election.
Liberians are also calling for the number of political parties reduced to four and not less than two and that people with disabilities should have constitutionally guaranteed access to socio-economic opportunities.
The CRC chair congratulated all participants for coming up to express their views. She said some views were expressed via radio and GSM companies, Lonestar Cell MTN, Cellcom, and Novafone, respectively.
Meanwhile, date for the referendum remains unclear but Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott disclosed that President Sirleaf expects these propositions to be legislated following 12 months publication so the people can beware of what they are going to vote for.
By Ethel A. Tweh