Opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Alexander Cummings is alarming here that the governance process under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah is speedily deteriorating.
During a press conference Thursday, 13 September, Mr. Cummings warned that if nothing is done, it could lead the country to a downward trend in the near future.
Mr. Cummings says while it will be immature for anyone to judge the government with barley eight months in power, he however observes that there are indicators from the administration that seem to point in the wrong direction.
According to him, those indicators must claim the attention of all peace loving Liberians and those that believe in good governance.Making his case further, Cummings points to legislative processes geared towards the impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, based on claims levied by ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) representatives Thomas Fallah and Acarous Gray.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill of impeachment and forwarded the instrument to the Liberian Senate where it is being reviewed for Senators’ action.If the Senate concurs, Associate Justice Ja’neh will have to face impeachment trial.
But Mr. Cummings believes that the lawmakers’ action against Justice Ja’neh has no legal basis but only intended to settle political score.According to him, the impeachment proceedings are also intended to silent another independent branch of government who’s member simply exercised his constitutional responsibility.
Mr. Cummings notes that the proceedings could chase potential investors away who may have interest in the country, arguing that Article 71 of the Liberian Constitution which talks about impeachment proceedings on associate justices is not being reflected in the provisions provided by the House of Representatives.
According to Article 71, the Chief Justice and Associates Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of subordinate courts of records shall hold office during good behavior. It says they may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the Legislature based on proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.
Commenting on the suspension of Liberia from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI), Mr. Cummings alarms that it is a terrifying signal that may suggest to international partners that Liberia as a country is not carefully observing its extractive sector.The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.
It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors.The EITI Board decided on 4 September 2018 to suspend Liberia for not having published the EITI report for the fiscal period ending June 2016 within the 1 July 2018 deadline. The decision followed a request by the Government of Liberia to extend the reporting deadline, set by the EITI Standard.
The Board found that the request did not meet the criteria for granting an extension.The ANC political leader indicates that the suspension of Liberia from the board is an embarrassing situation that should be addressed speedily in order to regain the confidence of the international community and investors.
Speaking on the economy of the state, Cummings points out that government is yet to stabilize the foreign exchange rate here, noting that business tycoons are the ones who decide the rate for the next day despite government efforts.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley