Legislature Appeals to Council of Patriots to Abandon June 7 Protest

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie has appealed to the organizers of the June 7 protest to abandon their campaign in the interest of peace and stability.

The pro tempore spoke over the weekend when the special representative of the United Nations secretary-general, and head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, paid a courtesy visit to Capitol Hill.

In a joint press conference minutes after a closed door meeting, Chie told legislative reporters that he briefed the United Nations delegation on the impeachment trial of former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh and the participation of a few senators in the protest leadership team.

Chie urged those involved in the planned ‘Save the State’ protest to call off their plans and work with the government on their demands.

“I’m appealing to the June 7 protesters to abandon their action in the interest of the country’s lasting peace and stability,” he said. “The protesters’ demands will be considered by government, but not as an event. It is a process, but we will gradually address their concerns.”

Also speaking after the meeting was the speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers, who thanked the United Nations for coming to mediate between the government and the protesters.

He emphasized the need for more dialogue with the organizing group, the Council of Patriots, to keep the country peaceful.
He noted, “Article 11a and 13a of our constitution is clear. It talks about security. It starts that security is the one that gave life to peace, development, and other things people enjoy today, so there can be no peace without security. Even in the context of people gathering to protest, the constitution says ‘in a peaceful manner,’ and how can you do that is in the presence of security and then things can be done properly.”

Chambers cautioned against misusing the word “patriot,” as he suggested that some people were using it “to achieve some other personal things.”

He reminded the country of the April 12, 1980 coup d’etat and the April 14, 1979 rice riots, which he said “were bad histories in Liberia.”

“It ended into killing our citizens and destroying properties,” he pointed out. “We must encourage dialogue to save Liberia from those bad histories that happened in the past; therefore, this is not good for Africa, West Africa or Liberia.”

The upcoming June 7 protest is being held to demand major concessions from President George Weah’s government to tackle corruption, improve the economy, and to resuscitate the country’s international image. The protesters have not yet provided their specific list of demands to the government, as they have opted to do so on June 7.

Featured photo by Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Liberia in Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

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