News / Africa

President Sirleaf Not Bound by Timeline on TRC Report, Says Minister

The act creating the TRC calls for the president to report to the legislature 90 days after the commission has submitted its report

President Sirleaf Addressing the 52nd National Legislature of Liberia
President Sirleaf Addressing the 52nd National Legislature of Liberia

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

Tuesday this week marked 90 days since Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) submitted its final edited reported to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Under Article 10, Section 48 of the TRC act, the president is to report to the national legislature within three months after receiving the TRC report and on a quarterly basis after the implementation of the commission’s recommendations.

Information minister Cletus Sieh said while President Sirleaf is concerned about the report being implemented, she is not bound by some timeline.

“All we are saying is that the TRC has submitted her report and let’s forget about timeline. Those recommendations that are implementable will be implemented; those of course that have constitutional implications, definitely the courts or whatever institutions available will be the ones to make such a determination,” he said.

Sieh said President Sirleaf has taken some steps towards implementing the TRC report, including the appointment of a Human Rights Commission.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

But Sieh said the Liberian legislature has yet to approve members of that commission.

He also said members of the Liberian legislature have been hearing from their constituencies on the way forward about the TRC report.

“Town hall meetings had been held by members of the legislature; the reaction has been mixed but we think overwhelmingly from most quarters they are saying that they prefer restorative justice and the maintenance of peace,” he said.

Sieh said President Sirleaf would not be in violation of Liberian laws if she fails to implement the TRC report.

“Our constitution says any law that contravenes the constitution of the Republic of Liberia such laws are none and void. Our supreme law of the land is the constitution of the Republic of Liberia. So any law or act passed by the legislature that seems to contravene the constitution, the constitution will be maintained,” Sieh said.

He said President Sirleaf is not invoking technicalities as a means to avoid implementing the TRC report.

Instead Sieh said some of the Truth Commission’s recommendations are unconstitutional.

“It’s not a matter of technicality. It’s a matter of doing what is proper under our constitution. For example, if the TRC is calling for people to be banned for 30 years, our constitution says the only penalty or crime that carries banning from public office is treason. And it calls for five years. So there’s no where in our laws that calls for 30 years. So you see clearly this is in contravention of our constitution,” Sieh said.

Newly elected Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff of George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change said President Sirleaf is under obligation to inform the national legislature about her plans to implement the TRC report.

“As far as we are concerned the TRC act which said that within 90 days after the final draft has been done with and presented to the president within 90 days the president shall report to plenary. I think the three months are enough and it’s incumbent on the President in this month of March to make a presentation to the plenary. We hope she will do that within the shortest possible time before the month ends,” Doe-Sheriff said.

She said the Liberian Senate passed a resolution calling on the President to begin implementing the TRC report.

But Doe-Sheriff said a member of the senate has filed a motion for reconciliation which she said is holding up the process.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid