President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has requested members of the Legislature to extend their stay at the capitol for additional two weeks following a closed door meeting Wednesday with both leaderships of that body.
Her unannounced visit comes days after members of the House of Representatives voted to return a Truth and Reconciliation Commission progress report she had sent to the Legislature for their perusal.
They unanimously voted for the communication to be sent back to her on grounds that it is “inconclusive, ambiguous and indirect.”
In a report submitted to Plenary, the Joint Committee of both houses noted that relevant government ministries and agencies need to identify and submit information on some of the TRC recommendations and findings to the Executive for onward submission to the Legislature.
Dressed in a beautiful African attire and accompanied by Information Minister Lewis Brown, including other officials met with Speaker Alex Tyler and Senate President Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah. Detail of the meeting was not disclosed, but it is believed to have centered on matters of State.
After the closed doors meeting yesterday, President Sirleaf under tight protocol and guarded by Executive Protection Service or EPS officers, told Legislative reporters her visit was strictly about consultation on the economy, adding that it was time for the government to hold series of consultations.
“Our coming today is strictly about holding consultations on the economy of our country. I think it is good to hold consultations for a better relationship,” she said. Minister Brown, who coordinated the President’s brief chat with reporters, restricted questions to two.
President Sirleaf declined to give her view on the recent resignation of Speaker Tyler from the ruling Unity Party, saying the matter will be handled at a different venue and not the Capitol Building.
The NewDawn gathered subsequently from Capitol Building sources the objective of President Sirleaf’s closed doors meeting with the leadership of the first branch of government was to seek the lawmakers’ on plan to sell Oil Bloc 17.
Sources disclosed the President is concerned about the current poor state of the economy and wants to sell Bloc 17 to enable the government generate revenue to avoid a repeat of budgetary shortfall experienced in the last fiscal period.
This paper also gathered the President is requesting the Liberian Legislature to stay for additional two weeks as the six weeks stay she earlier requested from the lawmakers expires today, October 15.
Both Speaker Tyler and Senate Pro-Tempore Jallah promised to get back to the President in the soonest possible time with a response on her latest request.
President Sirleaf also jokingly asked Speaker Tyler about the House’s decision to return the TRC report, and urged him to handle the matter smoothly.
By E. J. Nathaniel DaygborEdited by Jonathan Browne