Liberia: STATEMENT MADE BY HONORABLE JEREMIAH KPAN KOUNG, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, ON THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE 55th NATIONAL LEGISLATURE AND 1st REGULAR SESSION OF THE HONORABLE LIBERIAN SENATE
Delivered on 25th January 2024
The Honorable President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate; Distinguished Members of the Senate Leadership; and other Distinguished Members of the Liberian Senate; The Secretary, Chamber Officials, Directors, and Staff of the Liberian Senate; Our International Partners and Friends of Liberia; Esteemed Members of the 4Th Estate;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen: I remain grateful to the Almighty God and humbled by the extraordinary honor
today, to converge in this sacred Chamber and address this august body in a new capacity as Vice President of the Republic of Liberia and President of the Honorable Liberian Senate.
I owe a debt of gratitude for this new capacity to the Liberian people who would not sleep to make this change possible. Over the last few months, the survival of our Nation’s democracy was tested through competitive Presidential and Legislative elections; while these elections were not void of attending challenges, our people exhibited a character of resilience in testament to their belief in the ideals of democracy, peace, and national development.
Let me congratulate all of you for a hard-fought campaign and welcome our newly elected Senators who have joined us to continue the legacy of service to the Liberian people.
Today, our Nation has once again ushered in its second successive post-war democratic transition from one Government to another.
These transitions are marks of our country’s preparedness for democracy. During the conduct of our elections and the attending transition of state power, we have, as a Nation, demonstrated our commitment to peace and the credibility of our democratic aspirations and institutions.
Permit me to seize this opportunity to express profound thanks and appreciation to former President George Manneh Weah and my predecessor, former Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor for their stewardship of our beloved Nation over the last six years;.
I believe that the ultimate winners in these elections are the Liberian people who are the true custodians of our peace and democracy.
As we commence our deliberations, we must perform our collective responsibilities with a deep sense of patriotism, bearing in mind that the true PROTECTORS of the political power we possess are the PEOPLE; thus the welfare of the Liberian People should constitute the overarching focus of our developmental agendas and attending debates.
Now, I stand here to remind this August Body that Our People are demanding a drastic change in our leadership paradigm; Our People are yearning for accountability and respect for the rule of law, they are seeking opportunities for employment and investments, they are demanding the rebirth of the merit-based system, where competence and results are the primary focus of Our public sector, they are anticipating that we will enact laws and implement policies which address their socio-economic needs, and they are in a state of high expectation that we will strengthen our Nation’s relationship with international partners.
Distinguished Senators, these are the enormous responsibilities that confront this noble body, and we must embrace them without any degree of doubt.
Honorable Pro Tempore, Distinguished Senators, Ladies and Gentlemen, this 1st Regular Session of the 55th National Legislature is not only historical because it climaxes the constitutional responsibilities of the 54th National Legislature, but it also sets the platform for the emergence of a new era of a smooth political transition which has enhanced our Nation’s democratic credentials.
As we take pride in the many commendations received from friendly Nations across the world, we must be reminded that the ultimate goal of our service is not in the victory that comes during elections, but in the crafting and execution of laws and policies which have a positive transformative effect on the lives of our people. Our recent election results point to the diversity of our political views and aspirations.
We have a shared responsibility to promote reconciliation and demonstrate true leadership in bringing our people together under the umbrella of peace and national development.
Let us embrace a new mindset now that elections are over, eliminate the idea of a Green or Blue Liberia, and give every Liberian the opportunity to contribute his or her quota to nation-building.
This is the assignment we have chosen, and our performance will be judged by it. I sat in this chamber with an understanding that the 103 Lawmakers who represent the Liberian people have an uncommon privilege; we carry the burdens, dreams, and aspirations of our people, and their survival depends on the decisions that we make. We must remain conscious that the urgent responsibility that comes with this assignment gives no room for excuses; all of us are required to deliver on our promises.
Today, I am very humbled that our people have entrusted me with this new assignment; I shall exert all of my efforts to live up to this confidence reposed in me!
In closing, it would be remiss of me, if I were to ignore the enormous contributions and sacrifices of all our supporters at home and abroad; and reaffirm my undiluted confidence in the leadership and stewardship of His Excellency, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Sr., our President and Leader of this great nation.
We also express gratitude to Our international partners and friends of Liberia, civil society organizations, nongovernmental organizations, religious institutions, the youth, the media, the people of Liberia, and all other stakeholders who continue to work to protect our fledgling democracy and contribute to our Nation’s growth and development. As we strive to enhance our Nation’s place amongst the comity of Nations, may we never forget that the most important ingredient for nation-building is PEACE.
I remain optimistic that we will continue to pursue the path of true reconciliation and National unity, in the interest of the People of the Republic of Liberia.
I Thank You