State Of Emergency To End June 9 or June 21?

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The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has said that the state of emergency, which is due to expire on today, June 9, 2020, will not be renewed. President Weah made the statement on June 5, 2020.

However, in an attempt to clarify the President’s June 5, 2020 statement regarding the expiration of the state of emergency, the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Jr., on June 6, 2020 expressed government’s regret about the error contained in the June 5 press release, and noted that the state of emergency will expire on June 21, 2020.

   Minister Dean said, “Notwithstanding, the Legislature’s acknowledgement of the initial declaration of a state of emergency by President Weah, the effective date of the commencement of said state of emergency is the day on which the Joint Resolution of the Legislature, approved by President Weah, was published, which is the 21st day of April 2020, as laws do not ordinarily have retroactive effect, but instead retrospective effective.”

The Justice Minister clarified that, unless otherwise extended by a Joint Resolution of the Legislature and approved by President Weah, the state of emergency shall expire on the 21st day of June 2020, the 60th day as of the date of publication of the Legislature’s Joint Resolution.

   The Minister’s statement claimed the attention of some lawmakers, who differed with his analysis of their Joint Resolution, and said the state of emergency will expire on today, June 9, 2020.

   According to one of the lawmakers, “Let me state for the record that the Joint Resolution we signed, dated April 17, expressly carried that the state of emergency took effect as of April 10 and would last for ‘up to sixty days.’ From April 10 to June 10 constitutes sixty days. This means the state of emergency ceases to exist starting at 11:59 p.m. on June 9, without a legislative renewal.”

   The lawmakers wondered where the Minister took his June 21 date from, and hoped that the President was not being wrongly advised regarding a matter of grave concern.

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