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Ellen, lawmakers hold closed – door retreat

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President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has convened a closed – door “Special Presidential Retreat” at the Farmington River Hotel in Margibi County to exchange views on some draft legislations that are before the Legislature, including some drafts that have not yet reached the legislators.

“We know that you’re getting into the budget and when you start the budget process you’re going to be very busy. And so, we like to do this now to see if we can get the other side of the Acts and things, we can get them moving so that as you concentrate on the budget, some of these cannot slip by the wayside”, Mrs. Sirleaf said Wednesday morning, 7 June.

Participants at the retreat include Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay and a delegation of representatives, and Senate President Protemp Amah Jallah and some senators.

Chairing the meeting, Mrs. Sirleaf expressed appreciation to House Speaker Mr. Nuquay and Senate Pro Tempt Mr. Jallah for the opportunity for the Executive and the Legislature to exchange views on some of the works before the Legislature.

She has indicated that the works in question represent things that the Executive put before the Legislature, and the executive likes to exchange some views with lawmakers as to how they can try to get them done or how some issues can be clarified as a means of facilitating the legislators’ own work and to be able to conclude them.

Mrs. Sirleaf underscores that some of them are very important for what government wants to achieve in terms of infrastructure, “our relationship”, partnership and the support that they will give for some of the things that government wants to do.

“And so I hope this opportunity we can really have a very, very healthy exchange and that we can leave from here with all the doubts and all of the questions that need to be answered that they can all be answered and have some kind of consensus on how to move forward”, she adds.

Mrs. Sirleaf says there are many things before the lawmakers and there are still many more to come, and she will be putting them down on the table so that they can be discussed.

House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay expressed gratitude for the opportunity to discuss with the president and members of her team on critical national issues that are taken before legislators to be decided by the government.

“We believe that this approach further strengthens the coordination between our branches of government”, Speaker Nuquay says. He has expressed commitment to ensuring that the branches of government work together in the interest of the country, appreciating President Sirleaf for leading the charge to ensure that they continue to work together in the interest of the country.

“So we want to say again we are grateful for your leadership Madam President”, he adds, expressing hope that they work together to conclude those development programs that will certainly conclude the program of this administration and ensure that the government impacts the lives of the people.

At the retreat, Mr. Nuquay says there are presidential issues, and there will be legislative issues placed on the table for discussion which would come from members of the Legislature.

Also speaking, Protemp Amah Jallah extended thanks to President Sirleaf for organizing the retreat, saying they understand there are important draft legislations for the Legislature that need their consideration.

“Senators and the representatives have had concerns about these, some of these legislations and I believe the calling of this meeting today it provides an opportunity for us to be able to interact, answer questions on some of the areas we have a concern so those concerns would be cleared”, he says. ProtempJallah said possibly legislators might be in the position to pass those legislations when they return.

By Winston W. Parley

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