-Pundits Asked; As They Expressed Fear Over Breach Of Law
When Bomi County’s Senator Sando D. Johnson told a local radio station in a phone-in-talk show in Monrovia recently(Friday, January 4, 2019) that the Foreign Ministry’s authority admitted that the commissioned Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States of America by President, Dr. George M. Weah without Senate’s confirmation was a mistake, many pundits grimly questioned the excuse and pointed out that such cover-up is unacceptable because the Chief Executive is on record for breaching the constitution he has vowed to protect, uphold, respect and defend numerous occasions.
The pundits strongly expressed that it is indeed laughable, the excuse from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it was a mistake when in fact the current Minster of Foreign Affairs, Mr. G. Milton Findley and President Weah have both served as Senators in the very Legislature and are very much cognizant of the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to firstly confirm before any form of commissioning exercise can be conducted by the President.
Senator Johnson further explained that while it is true that Article 54 of the constitution gives the President the right or authority to appoint and even if the senate is on recess; the President still has what he (Sen. Johnson) says the right to make his recess appointment until the senate returns from recess to perform the confirmation ceremony which is the procedure as enshrined in the constitution, it cannot be done in the reverse nor in the manner and form it was carried out in the case of the commissioning activity performed by President Weah without Senate’s confirmation of Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States (USA).
According to him, upon the return of the Senate from recess, an urgent meeting to ratify the appointment and subsequent commissioned Ambassador to the USA without the confirmation by the Senate in keeping with the constitution. The constitution states that the Chief Executive has the power to appoint; the senate has the exclusive power to confirm or reject while the President with authority vested in him commissions his confirmed appointee(s).
However, pundits who maintained that since the inception of the Dr. Weah at the helm of state power close to a year, it has been observed that some provisions of the constitution specifically appointments made by him leader has grossly violated the organic law he vowed to respect, uphold and defend; and challenged his officials to fully subscribe to the latter.
They also wondered if the action of the President in his appointments’ drive of which some are in violation of the constitution are done with disregard of the law or the reflection of a callous dictator, which they view as troubling and must be told to the President.
They at the same time noted that it is questionable and hugely chided appointments made by Dr. Weah including Liberia’s Permanent Maritime Representative (IMO), London, United Kingdom; LEITI, Lottery; first quizzical Liberia’s appointed Ambassador, Ms. Gibson to the United Stated, now re-appointed, confirmed and commissioned to the Court of St. James and the saddled assets declaration just to highlight a few; which have all sadly backfired, are still vividly glaring on the “memory-wall” of gross disregard and disrespect for the constitution is also worrisome.
Moreover, political analysts and historical observers are beginning to paint a picture of what they sensed and are alleging as an emerging ‘ruthless dictatorship’ in the country with emphasis on ‘cutting corner politically’ as in the case of the roaring issue simmering over the questionable mode and fashion in which the current appointed and subsequent commissioned embattled Liberian Ambassador to the USA; wherein the Senate’s constitutional role of confirmation was by-passed or purged and shelved; an obvious indication of abuse even to the doctrine of separation of power as enshrined in the constitution to be mutually respected by the three branches of government in Liberia.
It can be recalled that President George M. Weah commissioned Ambassador George S.W. Patten, Sr, Liberian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary designate to the United States of America. Ambassador George S.W. Patten Sr. replaces Cllr. Lois Brutus.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the commissioning ceremony took place on Saturday, December 29, 2018.
President Weah encouraged Ambassador-designate Patten to represent Liberia’s best interest at his new assignment. President Weah also advised Ambassador Patten to be mindful of the special relationship subsisting between Liberia and the United States of America.
Also, Liberia’s Ambassador-designate to the United States, Ambassador Patten promised to promote and push Liberia’s Foreign Policy to the highest level while performing his duties and responsibilities to the best of his ability. Ambassador Patten thanked President Weah for the opportunity and the confidence reposed in his ability to serve Liberia at that ambassadorial level.
Amb. George S.W. Patten previously served as Liberia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, and Chargé d’Affaires a.i., at Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the UN