30 November 2012

Liberia: Traditional Council Gets National Status - Becomes Chief and Elders Council of Liberia

The National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia has officially released to its membership copies of the Act that gives traditional leaders of the country autonomous and legal status.

The chiefs and elders council, formally the National Tradition Council of Liberia (NTCL), under its new mandate will focus mainly on peace building, advocacy, dialogue reconciliation and continue to protect the culture heritage of Liberia.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the NCCEL, Chief Zanzan Kawor, said the new law will give chiefs and elders of Liberia the legal mandate to carry out the function without hindrance.

He called on them to be guided by the act in the discharge to their various function through the country.

The Legislature on May 31, 2012 passed the law--an "Act to Create the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of the Republic of Liberia." Under the new law, 'the function of the Council will include but not limited to "to preserve, protect and foster positive Liberian traditions cultural heritage and traditional institutions and assist government sustain peace, reconciliation and reunification.'

The NCCEL will also organize and convene consultative forums for local governance participation into formulation and execution of the country's national budget. The act forbids the Council from partisan role, but an independent body that advises government on the internal affairs of Liberia.

The new act further provides for organization and holding cultural meetings, seminars and conferences aimed at enlightening and educating the populace of Liberia about traditional norms, practices and procedures.

According to the law, "the NCCEL shell is comprised of any person who is a chief or elder in one of the counties that constitute the political subdivision of the republic who shall be elected as a chief or selected as an elder by their respective constituencies to serve on the council. There shall be one representative on the council from each counties of Liberia.

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