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Liberian Constitution supports impunity

--Accountability Lab urges constitutional reform

Accountability Lab has suggested that Liberia’s 1986 Constitution was derived under a military government, and its crafter wrote under coercion with guns and knives at their head either directly or indirectly.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, April 19, 2024: Liberia’s pro-transparency group Accountability Lab is demanding a reform of the country’s 1986 Constitution because it is anti-developmental, supports impunity and dishonesty, and lacks accountability.

Accountability Lab Country Director Mr. Lawrence Yealue said Thursday in Monrovia, 18 April 2024, at Icampus Lab Liberia’s 1986 Constitution is anti-peace, prosperity, and development.

He argued that Article 61 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia clearly shows that the Constitution needs to be repealed because the person with the highest mandate is free from everything that he or she does.

“The Constitution was derived under a military government. I believe that the people who wrote the Constitution did so with guns and knives at their head either directly or indirectly,” Mr. Yealue claimed.

He observed that Liberia’s Constitution supports amnesty for people who committed crimes against humanity.

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He wondered which constitution would do that, saying that Liberia is operating a constitution that supports impunity.

Yet, he said, Liberians want respect for the rule of law and justice to be blind.

“Liberia’s Constitution is the wrong instrument in the country. Our Constitution is anti-developmental and disappointing; it supports impunity, dishonesty, and lacks accountability,” he said.

“The Constitution can’t be a political tool to fight. Our issue in this country is the Constitution, and the legal practitioners understand that,” he noted. 

Mr. Yealue encouraged an average change of the Liberia Constitution because it supports impunity and injustices.

“If this country will move forward, one instrument in this country has to change – it’s the Constitution,” he noted. 

He called on civil society organizations, independent groups, and the media to push for reforming the Liberian Constitution. 

He argued that no country develops when the organic law governing the country doesn’t support justice and accountability.

He explained that the constitution is a legal and academic tool for reform and promotion of development, inclusion, and national reconciliation. 

“But our Constitution doesn’t support that,” Mr. Yealue stated. He lamented that the Liberian Constitution supports the breach of the rule of law and the culture of dishonesty, lack of accountability, and transparency. 

“Our Constitution supports impunity, dishonesty, and a lack of accountability. Until we can change the constitution, we will not experience development,” said Yealue.

He said Kenya had constitutional issues, and knowing it had problems, Kenyans changed the constitution.

According to him, what Kenyans didn’t achieve in fifty years was achieved in ten years, noting that Liberians can do the same.

If Liberians cannot change their constitution, Yealue believes that the country will continue to experience rises and falls and that justice will not be blind.

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