Liberia: House to Discuss SOE Extension

The House of Representatives has instructed its committee on Judiciary and Health to peruse the 30 days extension of the State of Emergency by President George M. Weah.

After reading of the communication from President Weah to the House of Representatives during its regular session Tuesday, June 30th, 2020, Nimba County district # 5 Representative Samuel G. Kogar, made a motion that the communication be forwarded to the Committee on Judiciary and Health with the Judiciary committee to lead the perusal and report to Plenary on Thursday in a special session.

But Rivercess County district#1 Representative Rosana Schaack, objected and argued that the Committee on Health should instead, lead the process because it has to do with health matter but her suggestion was ignored by Rep. Samuel G. Kogar.

On 22nd of June 2020 President Weah by proclamation extended the State of Emergency (SOE) by additional 30 days, in consultation with the 54th Legislature. The President said the decision will afford the government an opportunity to re-examine its COVID-19 response strategy.

The proclamation quotes Mr. Weah as saying that despite the measures that have been put in place to curtail spread of the Coronavirus in the country, including compulsory wearing of face masks, hand washing and social distancing, cases and deaths from the virus continue to rise.

The Liberian government initially declared the State of Emergency in April in response to the global pandemic. At the time, movements were restricted and the Joint Security called upon to help with the enforcement of set of protocols recommended by health authorities. Those measures expired on June 21, 2020 in keeping with the SOE's timeframe. President Weah has said that the extension takes immediate effect, pending deliberations at the National Legislature in keeping with the Constitution.

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