Liberians are expected to head to the polls later this year to vote on three propositions, President George Weah announced in his state of the nation’s address Monday January 27, but felt short of saying anything on health, education, security, climate change, among others.
The three propositions, are dual citizenship, presidential tenures and election timetable.
“These three Propositions for constitutional amendment will be voted on in a Constitutional Referendum to be held later this year,” President Weah said while raining praises on the Chief Justices and Associate Justices for a landmark ruling on dual citizenship sometime last year.
In a state of the Nation’s address loaded with road infrastructure construction and the economy, while doubling down on agriculture and an appeal to Liberians to give him time, President Weah failed to report to Liberians what his government did or intend to do in 2020 as it relates to the health, education, and security sectors as well as climate change and the ongoing gasoline crisis.
The country’s education system still remains in a bad state, while the health sector continues to face several challenges in the face of global epidemic outbreaks, security remains a major concern with the increase rate of armed robbery across the city, while the effect of climate change is visible.
Gasoline scarcity has hit the country and is now running into a week, while transportation fares are on the rise. President Weah failed to mention anything in relation to this crisis.
Opposition Senator Darius Dillon commenting on Weah’s address appeared disappointed that the president failed to mention anything about the current petroleum, while accusing the president of preaching reconciliation and at the same time still labeling others as enemies of the state.
Mr. Weah who has also trumpeted press freedom failed to mention anything about the media and its staggering debts being owe by government.
So what did he really say?
Mr. Weah began his speech with an announcement on a referendum later this year which is intended to feature three propositions: dual citizenship, Presidential tenures and election timetable.
“These three Propositions for constitutional amendment will be voted on in a Constitutional Referendum to be held later this year.
Proposition one on dual citizenship underscores the message that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will always be Liberians.
In this regard, we welcome the All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship to be held in Monrovia later this year, and look forward to our participation along with civil society, in the public awareness campaign that will lead to the passage of Proposition One, thereby enshrining into our organic law, the principle that once a Liberian, always a Liberian.
In the same vein, let me take this time to give a special salute to the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia for the recent landmark ruling that speaks to this truth: that once a Liberian, always a Liberian.
Proposition Two is the outcome of concerns raised by many citizens that the presidential and legislative tenures are too long. We have heard the cries of our people, and in response we have proposed a reduction in the number of years for these terms, going forward.
Proposition Three seeks to address our concern about holding elections during the rainy season in October. An adjustment has been proposed to hold elections now in November of each election year.
We therefore call on all of us to favorably consider these three Propositions which seek to amend our Constitution in the pending Referendum of 2020. They are good for our democratic space.By Othello B. Garblah