Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from around Liberia have submitted to the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) their initial proposals in Kakata, Margibi County on the 5th and 7th of December 2013. The CSOs converged in Kakata in response to invitation extended by the CRC.
The Chairman of the CRC Subcommittee on Civil Society Organizations Hon. Soko V. Sackor welcomed civil society delegates and said the invitation to them is a result of the commitment of the CRC to have a people’s driven process in the review of the 1986 constitution and that the civil society organizations being major stakeholders are pivotal to the successful conclusion of the process.
It can be recalled that civil society organizations have been meeting with the Constitution Review Committee to determine their role in the review process as well as to submit their proposals for constitutional amendment.
The CSOs deliberated on a number of national issues and through a democratic process narrowed their proposals to 10 major items which they believe constitute demanding national issues.
They are: currency, qualification, persons with disabilities, citizenship, tenure of elected officials, land and property ownership, gender, separation of powers, culture, and presidential powers.
For her part, the Chairperson of the CRC Cllr. Gloria Musu-Scott told participants that decisions derived and proposals submitted by them would not constitute the finality of the process as there are more consultations to be conducted by the CRC; and as the process goes on, individual civil society organizations are expected to submit proposals.
Through the guidance of the CRC, the CSOs broke themselves into ten thematic groups to discuss each item and submitted their proposals to plenary.
Among the proposals submitted, the thematic group on Gender proposed that there should be a provision in the constitution to give 30% inclusion to women in all aspect of governance as well as the right of women to inherit land and other properties.
They also proposed the inclusion of “She” when referring to the presidency instead of only “He”.
The group on currency has proposed that the power to issue currency and mint coins should be given to the Central Bank instead of the National Legislature.
They want Liberia to abolish dual currency and that all financial transactions in Liberia should be done in Liberian currency. Also, the thematic group on citizenship has also proposed that to become a Liberian citizen, a person must denounce his citizenship of any country within the world.
The proposal is in opposition to dual citizenship. Each of the thematic groups presented their reports/proposals to the body.
Meanwhile, the Constitution Review Committee leaves Monrovia today for Gbarnga, Bong County for a consultative meeting with chiefs, elders and traditional leaders.
The meeting brings together all traditional leaders from around Liberia to the administrative building in Bong County to comprehensively look at issues affecting them.
The objective of the meeting is to provide the forum for these traditional leaders to interact with each other and submit proposals to the CRC on how they think the nation is to be governed.