-Gives Reported Secret Behind Referendum; Says President Weah Will Go For Third Term As President
Senator Prince Yormie Johnson alias ‘PYJ’ of Nimba County has made a startling revelation ahead of the much anticipated December 8, 2020 election for the referendum.
The governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led by President George Weah is in support of amending some portions of the current 1986 Constitution through a referendum
Reduction in the tenure of president, members of the Legislature, dual citizens are some of the propositions contained in the referendum for December 8, 2020 to be voted.
President Weah is one of those Liberians in support of the referendum as evidenced through the visibility of his photos on billboards in street corners calling on Liberians to vote those propositions listed.
Some Liberians believed more attention is placed on the senatorial elections leaving out the referendum with pundits saying it is calculated attempt to allow the referendum pass without being noticed.
There are campaigners who have used the image of the Liberian President calling for change of the Constitution.
“Change the Constitution” is what is posted at various places calling on Liberians to vote for the propositions which are going for referendum.
The National Elections Commission has said that the ongoing process of constitutional amendment is not in any way calling for the ‘change of the Liberian Constitution’ rather, propositions therein are being changed.
National Elections Commission’s Coordinator for referendum, Jappah Nah said, The process that is ongoing now is not a change of the constitution, and we are only amending parts of the constitution.”
However, considered as an insider and key decision maker in the governing CDC, Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County, now Evangelist of the gospel of Jesus Christ delivering his sermon Sunday October 25, 2020 at his church said many of the Opposition party figures do not like him because he tells them the truth.
Speaking further, Evangelist Prince Yormie Johnson revealed that President George Weah is prepared to remain President of Liberia for another twelve years.
“When the referendum passes, this current six years is a zero year for us,” he said.
Evangelist Johnson further said “After this one, President Weah is going for two more terms; that is the third term.” The ‘controversial’ Nimba county Senator is a strong ally of the government of President George Manneh Weah.
He supported the Liberian leader in the 2017 presidential runoff elections that brought the governing Coalition for Democratic Change to power and was reportedly given 65% appointing power in the government from his native Nimba County.
Following the revelation from the political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), political pundits and some Liberians are beginning to cautiously look deeper into the justification of the impending December 8, 2020 national Referendum.
Office of the President:
When contacted, Deputy Presidential Press Secretary, Smith Toby said the Senator told OkayFM that he and the Liberian leader have had no conversation on such, but it was he [Prince Johnson] opinion.
Toby further said “All Liberians get their own way of interpreting what the referendum entails, so, we will not be responding to all the people who will say because the president wants to be in power for the third term or less. Everybody gets their own analysis.”
“So, it’s for people to go to the referendum to vote Yes or No. That man is a statesman and he has his own assessment to anything that happens in this country,” he said.
Deputy Minister Eugene Fahngon-MICAT:
Also speaking, Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Eugene Fahngon dismissed such insinuations saying “You want to be in office for a long time and you reducing your time already? That’s the actual fact. It’s not a secret. For the referendum, President Weah is saying my first term is six and I want my second term to be five and every other term after that is five. Our constitution is clear and it says two terms for president and we will respect that and if there is a need for a third term, you and I must agreed and that cannot be a secret.”
“Therefore, we don’t know from whence the Senator got his idea or who told him the secret. But what we have on the paper is clear and what we have in the constitution is clear also,” Deputy Minister Fahngon added.
It can be recalled in 2015, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, constituted a National Constitutional Review, headed by former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott.
The committee was charged with reviewing the country’s 1986 constitution and solicited suggestions from the public for possible amendments.
The propositions for constitutional review included the terms of office for the President, Vice President, legislators and justices, as well as superintendents of the country’s 15 political subdivisions.
Under the current constitution, the president and vice president serve six-year terms, senators serve for nine years, and members of the House of Representatives six years.