Former Pro-Tempore Albert Chie Grades Boakai’s Leadership 80%, Provides Clarity on Tenure Act in 53rd Legislature

By: Laymah Kollie

Monrovia -March 17,2024: Former Liberian Senate Protemp and Grand Kru County Senator Albert T. Chie has graded the Liberian government in a short term 80% of performance.

According to Pro-Tempore Emeritus, even though there are other unresolved issues and few errors of government in the short time, he thinks the Boakai’s administration is trying and will improve gradually.

Addressing the media during the closure of the first segment of the 55th National Legislature, Senator Chie informed the public that while it’s too early and the government is trying, but there has been few mis-steps which accumulated his score to 80%.

“Therefore in summary, while our Government tried and it is still too early, the few mis-steps and the good governance issues, some of which I flagged above, are key determinate factors for my overall performance grade of 80% for this Government in its first fifty (50) days”.

However, Clarifying the issue of tenure positions, Pro-Tempore Emeritus said , the Senate under his watch received a bill from the Honorable House of Representatives proposing to scrap all Tenure positions except the agencies mentioned in Article 89 of the 1986; namely: the National • Elections Commission, the General Auditing Commission and the Civil Service Commission, which they (plenary) didn’t concur with.

“ Tenure positions in the Executive; It was reported in the press that the 54″ Legislature passed a bill dissolving tenure positions that were in existence at the end of the 53rd Legislature. This is not true. The Senate did not concur with this bill but instead returned the bill to the House with the amendment that additional eight (8) agencies of integrity nature remain tenured. Only the tenure positions of the Liberia Maritime Authority were scrapped during the review of the Maritime Act in 2020”.

Senator Chie stressed, that Article 89 of the Constitution also gives the Legislature the right to establish agencies of Government and in an Act of the Legislature to prescribe their nature, whether tenure or non-tenure.

On the issue of the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court, Senator Chie thinks it’s not timely for a tribunal establishment in Liberia. He believes there are other unresolved issues to keenly look at before establishing such body in a country. Stressing, that as recommended during the 53rd Legislature, the President can mainly focused on other recommendations of the TRC to include: the State Apology, setting up of Reparation Trust Funds for war victims, Palava hut programs amongst others.

Pro-Tempore Emeritus clarified that he is not against the establishment of the court, but thinks there are other legal matters that need straightening before such court’s establishment in Liberia.

“The Senate received a resolution from the House of Representatives on the Establishment of a War and Economic Crime Court in the country. The resolution was received by Plenary and sent to the Committee on Judiciary for review and subsequent report to that body in a fortnight”.

“Prior to that, I sent a communication to Plenary reminding them about its advice on the issue back in 2021; specifically that the Senate believed then, that there should be justice for victims and that crimes against humanity should not go unpunished but constitutional and other legal constraints may prohibit the establishment of an international criminal tribunal in the form and manner recommended in the TRC Report, on Liberian soil; that economic crimes committed during the civil crisis do not constitute international crimes and should be adjudicated under Liberian laws in Liberia criminal courts, including the possible establishment of a Corruption Court; and that other recommendations of the TRC such as State apology, setting up of the Reparation Trust Fund for victims and victimized communities and the Palava Hut Programs should be implemented without much delay”.

Furthermore, the Grand Kru County Senator highlighted a quest made to plenary by him and Senator Johnny Kpehe of Bong County to lift the moratorium placed by the Executive on the exportation of unprocessed rubber.

The Lawmakers stressed that the moratorium, when lifted will bring relief to small rubber rubber farmers in the country.

“Turning to the Agriculture Sector, Senator Johnny Kpehe and I wrote Plenary asking for its intervention to lift the moratorium placed, through and Executive Order, on the exportation of unprocessed rubber, to bring relief to the Liberian small holder rubber farmers. This is based on an appeal to us by a large group of Liberian rubber farmers from all parts of the country”.

Also, Senator Chie in a press conference Thursday outlined the importance of setting up additional threshold inline with the 2022 National Housing and Population Census conducted in Liberia.

“ Few weeks ago, I reminded Plenary of the importance of starting discussion on the setting of the threshold to facilitate the delineation of electoral districts by the National Elections Commission, based on the results of the 2022 National Housing and Population Census which put the population at approximately 5,250, 187. Let us recall that Article 80
(d) mandates the Legislature to either approve 20,000 citizens per Constituency figure or set another threshold and by implication the number of constituencies”.

Meanwhile, commenting on the government error in the last 50 days, Senator Albert Chie mentioned mishandling of protests by Army wives and residents of Cape Mount County.

“ Some of the low points of this Government, of which all of us as Senators are a part, is the way we handled the protest of the wives of Personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia and the unfortunate deaths and injuries which occurred at Kinjor and the vandalization of the equipment and other properties of the mining company”.

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