In fulfillment of the Constitution, President George Manneh Weah is expected to deliver his first Annual Message to the joint session of the Liberian Legislature today, Monday, 29 January at about 16:00 hours, outlining his legislative programs for the year.
The constitutional mandate will be conducted in the Richard Tolbert Joint Chambers of the Capitol with House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers presiding over the joint session, comprising representatives from all 73 electoral districts and 30 senators from the 15 counties.
Article 58 of the Constitution states, the President shall, on the fourth working Monday in January of each year, present the administration’s legislative program for the ensuing session, and shall once a year report to the Legislature on the state of the Republic. In presenting the economic condition of the Republic, the report shall cover expenditure as well as income.
All heads of the three branches, agencies of government, development partners, members of Diplomatic Missions here and the public are expected to witness the event.
The message will set the legislative and developmental agendas of the country that had suffered 14 years of civil war.President Weah returned to the country last evening from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he attended the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union or AU, which marks his maiden appearance at the gathering of the continental body as the new Chief Executive of Liberia.
The President is to tell the nation through the legislature his programs for the economy, health, education and security, including challenges in the next 12 months.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah describes the economy as ‘shaky’ and needs serious attention.The government of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left in the national coffer US$24 million as the only cash available for governmental operations, according to the Central Bank of Liberia.
President Weah, who is forming his cabinet, had earlier promised in his inaugural speech to fight corruption and that Liberians will not be spectators in the economy.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne