Liberia: Govt to Adhere to Supreme Court's Ruling On Referendum Ballot Paper

Monrovia — The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill has disclosed that the government has decided to honor the ruling of the Supreme Court on Referendum 2020 by putting the official gazette aside and ensuring that all eight propositions passed by the Legislature appear on the ballot paper.

Minister McGill dispelled the rumor that the Supreme Court ruling suggests that the Referendum is cancelled and would, therefore, not be held on December 8.

According to him, the government has agreed to place all eight propositions on the ballot paper instead of the initial condensed three propositions.

On Monday, November 23, 2020 Minister McGill in a major conference held in Monrovia made a pronouncement that the ruling from the Supreme Court was misinterpreted by members of the opposition block and that government will not go by the mandate contained in gazette, because it's 'confusing.'

"The referendum will hold in line with the resolution from the House of Representatives and Senate and we will not be following the publication in the gazette from the court, because it's confusing," McGill Said.

"Each of the amendments will now go with a ballot paper and the referendum will now go as planned."

Instead of the official gazette, McGill said government will follow the resolution from the National Legislature to conduct the process.

He argued that the Supreme Court in its ruling, instructed the complainants to revert to the resolution by both houses, instead of the process being halted, as being reported in the public.

"As soon as the Supreme Court came down with its ruling, there were people in the opposition who were celebrating that the referendum is cancelled, the referendum is not cancelled and we will go to vote on December 8," Minister McGill stressed.

According to Minister McGill, the National Elections Commission has informed the President that it has already started the process of printing ballot for the National Referendum in line with the Supreme Court's mandate.

Among the proposition, it was proposed that tenures of the president be reduced from six years to five years, Senate from nine years to seven years, representatives from six to five years while elections date be change from the 2nd Tuesday in October to the 2nd Tuesday in November as well as pushing the issue of dual citizenship.

He said these recommendations are not from the President as being perceived, but from Liberians who proposed them during the constitutional review process.

Accordingly, he said there was sufficient awareness made on the process by past leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for two years, informing Liberians on the process.

"I say to my friends who say there is no sufficient education, what about the two years that the Government of Liberia took going all over Liberia, led by Glorious Musu Scott, seeking the participation of citizens and we are only implementing what people said?" he opined.

"The President started awareness and our friends said the President was campaigning. I'm pleased to call on all Liberians that the referendum is on course. The referendum will proceed as planned and we are asking all Liberians that these recommendations are not coming from the President but the people of Liberia. Therefore, we are asking all Liberians to vote 'yes' to each of the eight prepositions that will be on the ballot."

The Liberian Minister of State for Presidential Affairs further threw jabs at the opposition block for raising issues over conduct of the process, which he believes is only intended to perpetuate certain individual in power for a longer time.

He added that the referendum is intended to provide the space for citizens to always go to the ballot to decide their leadership. He stated: "The only way you will not support this process is, except you are a greedy politician. I don't know why people will be happy to stay too long in power."

Minister McGill said the President previously intended reducing the tenure of president from six to four, but was advised that such process will create too many election frequencies and will be costly.

Meanwhile, Minister McGill has stated that President Weah has agreed not to contest more than two terms, even if the referendum is conducted.

Top Headlines: Liberia

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