The national constitution conference is on its way to making another history in Liberia as issues expressed already speak of change in government’s arrangements and introduce proposals for additional norms and values not ever mentioned since the existence of the organic law.
The review of views sampled from across the 73 districts in the country that has ignited the conference ongoing in Gbarnga City is believed to have mirrored fundamental changes with the intent of conforming to present day reality.
However, Speaker Alex Tyler who considers the task more daunting for the Legislature in whose laps the amendments rest hereafter challenged the reviews to think some of the amendments carefully so that it does not divide Liberia farther.
“We cannot and will not get all we are asking for in every instance. We must learn to give and take,” Speaker Tyler said as a resounding caveat without even attempting to address the core of the discussion.
Taking clues from proposals made by his constituency as a basis for his outright warning during the official opening of the conference yesterday, he said that to opt for a presidential candidate to hold a master’s degree is a serious problem to the fundamental rights that some other reviewers of the same constitution are seeking to protect.
Another issue of debate alerted by the Speaker was the election of a chief justice for four years, which for him would subject that person to the political current social pressures and economic machinations of the day.
Still examining proposals from his county, Bomi, Speaker Tyler reminded the gathering that in count 10 they said ‘return Liberia to a Christian nation’ and further to that they are also requesting for the creation of Islamic holidays.
He wondered, “How does one advance a religion specific State and at the same time advocate for a culturally inclusive ethos.”
The Speaker reiterated that Liberia has never been a Christian nation and wondered how they at the same time be calling for a multicultural, diversified and paralytic nation.
When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf officially declared the conference opened, she said that the Liberian people have spoken their minds and wisely categorized their issues that would require legislative and executive actions.
She said even though some of the issues have already been addressed but others that are for the purpose of amendment will be submitted in timely manner to the Legislature while others will be addressed in due course.
The Liberian leader considered that the review process reflects the aspirations of the Liberians and is therefore appealing to all stakeholders to play their part as it seeks to incorporate international laws and norms to which Liberia is a signatory.