Liberia: A Country Too Poor for a Constitutional Referendum?

In April 2015, delegates from 73 electoral districts across Liberia voted at the CRC Conference in Gbarnga, Bong County, for 25 propositions to alter the 1986 Constitution of the West-African State. Originally scheduled for 2016, the referendum was postponed to 2017 (see http://www.thenewdawnliberia.com/news/9338-national-referendum-set-for-2017). Whereas the National Democratic Institute is still optimistic that the referendum will take place prior to the general elections also scheduled for 2017 (see https://www.ndi.org/liberia?quicktabs_country_page_tabs=3#quicktabs-country_page_tabs), a statement made by the chairperson of the House Committee on Governance, Rep. Larry Younquoi, a few months ago is less optimistic: according to him, the referendum would cost USD 20 million – money, the country does not have (see http://www.frontpageafricaonline.com/index.php/politics/2179-house-committee-on-governance-referendum-cancellation-raises-eyebrows). The question is: can there be a price-tag on democracy? Continue reading

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