The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: Ellen Succumbs

Days following President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's reported boycott of meeting members of the House of Representatives, Information Minister Lewis Brown has disclosed that the President is now willing to meet with the lawmakers at the Capitol.

Last Friday, a planned meeting between the President and members of the House of Representatives initiated by Chief Zanzar Kawor of the Traditional Council of Liberia failed to take place due to disagreement over the venue.

According to information, the President wanted the meeting to have been held at the Centennial Pavilion, but members of the House reportedly refused to meet with the President outside of the Capitol Building.

The President also reportedly refused to go to the Capitol thereby stalling the dialogue from taking place.

However, appearing on Sky F.M. 50-50 radio talk show Monday, Information Minister Brown said the President did not refuse to meet with members of the House of Representatives.

According to him, there was confusion over the venue as the President was earlier informed that the meeting would take place at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia.

He said the President is willing and prepared to meet with the House at the Capitol Building.

Minister Brown said the fact that the President met with members of the Senate at the Capitol Building a week ago suggests that she's also willing to meet with the House at the Capitol as well.

The Information Minister said it is part of our democracy for the President and members of the House of Representatives to coordinate and discuss.

He said the offices of the President and Speaker applaud the effort of the Traditional Council for the role it is playing to ensure that the President and members of the House trash out their differences.

Since the President's comment in the United States where she reportedly said that she did not give huge salary and benefits to members of the legislature in the 2012/13 budget, there has been an apparent bad blood between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

During a recent news conference, the House, through its Speaker Alex Tyler, called on the President to retract her statement made in the United States in the interest of peace and coordination.

However, up till now, the President is yet to retract her statement thereby triggering apparent bad blood between she and members of the House of Representatives.

It is not clear when the meeting between the House and President Sirleaf will be held.

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