28 January 2013

Liberia: 'Constitutional Review Not Politics'

Vice President Joseph Boakai has urged the Constitution Review Committee which is reviewing the 1986 Liberian Constitution to be neutral as the process does not accept politics.

He said the issue of Constitution review is a national duty that must resist politics and involve the participation of everybody to save the country.

According to him, constitution review is a hallmark in the restoration of lasting peace and the advancement of conscious adherence to the rule of law in the country, as such, the involvement of all Liberians including rural dwellers need to be taken into consideration.

The Vice President spoke Thursday at the start of a two-day Constitution Review symposium, organized by the Law Reform Commission in collaboration with the Constitution Review Committee and the Governance Commission.

He urged the Review Committee to ensure that the constitution coming out of the review process should consider equal protection for all, access to justice for each person within the border of the country and the development of opportunities for sustained economic growth.

Vice President Boakai hopes that the undertaking speaks to an acknowledgement of the Liberian people's desire to fashion a more relevant and up-to-date national covenant that would serve as a benefiting instrument of their interactions.

He reminded the Committee to do everything possible to ensure that the Constitution is more responsive to the needs of the citizens now and in the future.

He wants the committee to provide opportunities for stakeholders to discuss the process of reviewing the constitution and clarify issues concerning the roles of citizens.

He told the committee that the Liberian government has a particular interest in the involvement of all citizens through extensive consultations, robust public awareness and transparency in reviewing the Constitution.

He said the product of the constitution review exercise would show the seriousness of Liberians in setting up their country's future foundation where everyone would be protected under the law.

The Liberian Vice President emphasized that, "this is not an academic exercise; this is not a political power-play that will side into a self-serving campaign; thus metamorphosing into a subtle election bid of any person."

For his part, the Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission Cllr. Jallah A. Barbu assured that the constitution review process would involve the inputs of the citizens.

Cllr. Barbu said time has come for Liberians to correct the wrongs in saving the country's future generation.

He called on Liberians to provide their inputs by indentifying existing laws that are not in the interest of the country and its people.

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