Liberia: House Vote to Reset Referendum Agenda

Reps. Clarence Massaquoi and Francis Dopoh, are the two that have agreed for the review of the approved propositions for the Referendum agenda.

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 to reassess the previously approved popular agenda for referendum for the possibility of editing and additional propositions for the upcoming National Population and Housing Census.

Out of the 37 recorded attendance, 10 voted in favor, and one abstained, while the remainders did not vote.

During the Wednesday's session, the 29th day sitting, and last day of the 2nd Sitting, members of the House of Representatives agreed to edit and reset the agenda for referendum to have more than three propositions against the already three propositions, which both Houses had acted upon.

The motion for the reassessment and subsequent addition to the three propositions was proffered by Lofa County District #3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi and seconded by Gbarpolu County District #3 Francis Dopoh.

The motion also called on the leadership of the House to coordinate with the Senate to hold a special conference committee to ratify the probably reset propositions.

The Propositions include: the Dual Citizenship Clause (Article 28) -- as Proposition 1; Reduction of Tenure of the President, Vice President, and members of the Legislature (Articles 46, 47, 48, 49 & 50) -- Proposition 2; and the Date of Election (Article 83 (a) & (c) -- Proposition 3.

It can be recalled that at 4:57 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, the House of Representatives unanimously concurred with the Senate to set agenda for the 2020 Referendum.

The three approved propositions were forwarded to the House of Representatives on September 24, under the signature of the Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh.

The House concurrence with the Senate indicates that with the approval of the President and printing into handbills, there will be a referendum after one year from the day the handbills was signed.

There are unconfirmed reports that the House is considering the review of the approved amendment of the Dual Citizenship Clause, which is subject to referendum, as being "very divisive and unpatriotic for a dual citizen of Liberian to be unqualified and ineligible for elected positions, as well as some appointed positions, including Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia; Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers; all heads of Autonomous Commissions, Agencies and Non-Academic/Research/Scientific Institutions and Ambassadors."

Besides the debatable dual citizenship clause, there might be consideration for propositions on additional seats for women in the Legislature.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has formally adjourned its 2nd Sitting for constituency (or agriculture) break and will resume on the second working Monday, January 13, 2020. The House has joined the Senate, which adjourned on Friday, October 4 for their annual break.

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