Traditional leaders from the 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia have called on the Executive Branch of government to speedily submit the Draft Local Government Act (LGA) to the Legislature, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A release dated May 6, 2015 quotes traditional leaders as saying the submission of the LGA to the Legislature and its passage into law would ensure the full participation of rural residents in the governance of the country.
“We will tell our lawmakers to pass this bill once our President submits it to them, because it is good for us”, said Matthew Smith, proxy for Chief Zanzan Karwor.
The traditional leaders spoke at an engagement forum organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Governance Commission as part of the ongoing review process of the draft Local Government Act which took place in Gbarnga, Bong County over the weekend.
Both institutions are currently reviewing the draft Local Government Act to identify outstanding critical issues.
The meeting was intended to provide the traditional leaders’ deep understanding of the contents of the draft Act, which among other things, calls for the election of local government officials, including County Superintendents. It also highlights the role of traditional authorities in political governance in Liberia.
Speaking at the engagement, the National Program Director of the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP), Dr. Roosevelt Jayjay, rallied support of the traditional leaders towards the Act.
He said when passed into law, the Act would increase participation of the local leaders and citizens in the decision-making process of their communities.
The LGA forms part of the legal and regulatory aspect of the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance; a flagship program of the Liberian government intended to enhance shared governance and ensure effective service delivery system at the local level.
The Decentralization Program is currently funded by the European Union or EU, and the United Nations Development Program, UNDP.