Liberia’s ECOWAS Parliamentarians Highlight Progress, Challenges In December’s Country Report

Flashback: The five members of the Liberian ECOWAS Parliamentarian Delegation are (left to right) Rep. Karmoh, Sen. Weah, Rep. Siryon, Sen. Johnson and Rep. Snowe

Abuja, December 5, 2017: Liberian legislators at the ECOWAS Parliament have represented their Country Report, bordering on progress and challenges the country has faced since its last report in May of this year.

Presentation of Country Reports at the ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature by the various lawmakers from the 15 ECOWAS countries at the Parliament is part of routine legislative activities at the level of the regional parliamentarian body.

A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the December Country Report, presented on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, covers the political and security situation in Liberia, the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS’ Community Levy, the ratification of the community protocols and conventions, and the implementation of the ECOWAS’ community programs.

The Country Report also touched on Liberia’s status of implementation of the ECOWAS infrastructural and transportation policies and programs, the status of implementation of the ECOWAS macro-economic program as it relates to level of achievement of convergence criteria and the sensitization activities carried out by parliamentarians.

According to the release, Montserrado County Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr, read the Country Report on behalf of the Liberian Delegation. The members of the Liberian ECOWAS Parliamentarian Delegation are Montserrado County Senator George Manneh Weah, who is the head of the Delegation and Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson. Others are Representative Jefferson Karmoh of Sinoe County who is the Third Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and Representative Haja Fatta Siryon of Bomi County.

On Liberia’s political situation, the Country Report reports that the situation is relatively cordial despite the current electoral process: “As we may know, Liberia conducted presidential and representatives’ elections on 10th October, 2017. Seventy-three members of the House of Representatives were elected.”

The Report, however, adds: “…..however, in keeping with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, for a candidate to be declared winner for the presidency, the candidate must obtain not less than 50 percent plus one (50%+1) of the total votes cast. Of the twenty (20) candidates for the presidency, no one candidate reached such constitutional requirement.”

The Report than commented on the ongoing legal process surrounding the electoral process, disclosing that the Liberian Supreme Court is expected this week with a ruling on the status of the stay-order it placed on the process last month following a complaint from the Liberty Party which finished third in the first round of votes.

“To this end, Liberians and the world are watching the legal process to see its logical conclusion. There has been a general atmosphere of calm amongst the parties and citizens”, the release quotes the Country Report.

Relative to the drawdown of the United Nations Missions in Liberia, (UNMIL) couple of months ago, the Report explains that the Government of Liberia through its relevant institutions that are responsible for dealing with security and combatting terrorism including the National Security Agency (NSA), the Ministry of National Defense and the Liberia National Police (LNP) have been working together to maintain peace and security in order to prevent terrorism throughout Liberia.

On the economy, the release quotes the Report as saying that the outlook of the “Liberian economy appears gloomy premised on the outcome of the presidential election and enhancement of investments in infrastructure developments as well as implementation of agricultural programs”.

The Report then adds that the economic activities are expected to improve by the end of the first half of 2018.

The Liberian legislators also included in their Country Report Liberia’s continuous implementation of its regional integration commitments within the framework of the ECOWAS Single Currency Program.

Other aspects covered in the Report include the Status of Implementation of the Community Texts, Ratification of the Community Protocols and Conventions, Implementation of the Community Programs and Community Levy and Liberia’s successful hosting of ECOWAS Mid-term Statutory Meetings between May and June of this year.

The Country Report concludes that Liberia continues to make considerable progress on the regional front, achieving key deliverables, according to the release.

The ongoing Second Ordinary Session of the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament kicked off on the 21st of November and will end on the 9th of December, 2017.

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About Cholo Brooks 17213 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.