House Speaker Alex Tyler, who hails from a Muslim dominated region has kicked against the proposition of making Liberia a Christian State.
Tyler, formerly of the ruling Unity Party said the plenary of the House of Representatives will not support majority views against the minority. His comment, which came at the official opening of the Constitution Review Committee and the Legislative retreat on Wednesday November 18, is intone with that of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who has since resisted the Christian State proposition.
Tyler defended his posture saying the minority too, has rights that the constitution duly protect and that the majority views could be overly supported by the public but the intent could not be needful right now.
There are currently 25 proposed amendments to the 1986 Constitution of Liberia being review. Tyler said rather than endorsing a Christian State, the House plenary will focus its attention on statutory amendments then majority support propositions.
The speaker said while it is true that the view of the majority is vital to the amendment of the organic law of the land, he noted that some proposed amendments are not in the interest and the common good of the country and as such the plenary of the House will be more careful in handling the matter.
Tyler informed the retreat that the House of Representatives has received those views in the right democratic spirit and has gone to Ganta to deliberate upon them before debating same in plenary.
“This singular action has made a difference in our constitutional history as compared to the past. CRC should be respected as much as some of us may have our own reservations. The reason is that the electoral districts were covered and we have the responsibility to validate these submissions in methods deemed appropriate in coordination with the committee,” Tyler said.
The five days Legislative and Constitutional Retreat under the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Program-Liberia brings together women and youth organizations, civil society organizations, members of the lower House of the Legislature and experts from various fields including law, economic, socio and security among others.
Also speaking at the opening, Cllr, Gloria Musu Scott, Chairperson of the Constitution Review Committee said Liberians are inpatient to poverty. She said Liberians have repeatedly said they are already enjoying or benefiting from the political rights but government has failed to provide economic freedom.
According to her, Liberians are also calling for equal share of the natural resources of the state. “Our people are very inpatient to poverty and they can do anything possible to eradicate poverty. They are requesting through the proposed proposition,” she said.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Othello B. Garblah