According to the Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, who is the Chief Patron of the Red Cross, dissolved the Board of Directors of the Liberia National Red Cross Society with immediate effect. According to the release, the President has also halted the activities/operations of the current Management Team of the entity. After the dissolution of the Board, , the release is further quoted as the President citing all members of the dissolved Board of Directors as well as members of the Management Team to a meeting on Thursday March 10, 2016 in order to look deeper into the current situation at the Liberian National Red Cross Society.
Now, the National Executive Board and Management team of the Liberian Red Cross has not received any official communication from the office of President Sirleaf but will go ahead with its normal official businesses.
The LNRCS wishes to state that President Sirleaf as Chief Patron will not and cannot appoint or dismiss, dissolve the National Executive Board of the LNRCS in line with its Constitution because members of the Board are constitutionally elected for a period of four by members of the National Society from the 15 political subdivision of the country. They can only be suspended, expelled or impeached for any violation or integrity issue after being investigated by an ad hoc committee and not by presidential or patronage pronouncement.
We feel strongly that the media report quoting Madam Sirleaf’s decision to dissolve the LNRCS’ Board is in complete error, and has grossly violated Article 1 Count 4 of the LNRCS’ Constitution which talks about interference with the independence of the LNRCS. The President as Chief Patron is an honorary member of the LNRCS as provided for in Article 5 of the LNRCS Constitution, as such attributing said release to her grossly violates her status in line with her duty as a member to recognize and obey the constitution of the LNRCS.
The Board and Management of the LNRCS would like to state that it has not received any official communication from the President regarding such action. In addition, the LNRCS would like to state that though an auxiliary to Government of Liberia, the LNRCS is an independent humanitarian institution whose activities are void of political interference. By extension, the President can neither appoint nor dismiss members of the Board or halt its operations.
The Board and Management would like inform all staff, volunteers, partners and the public that the LNRCS remains operational with normal activities going on.