Liberian Democracy: A Critique of the Principle of Checks and Balances
Development is stagnated, and poverty is widespread in Liberia because the Legislature is weak, corrupt and greedy, thereby pursuing self-interested agenda at the detriment of the general public. The Judiciary is also corrupt and subservient to the Executive, which dominates and controls state resources. This writer explains why the Legislature and Judiciary are weak, corrupt, inefficient and ineffective. He proposes how these dormant branches of government could become more effective and robust to curb presidential dominance by upholding the principle of checks and balances in Liberia’s democracy. He also argues that mass illiteracy leads electorates to electing incompetent legislators. The writer further points out that widespread illiteracy undermines most of the citizens’ capacity to critically and rationally analyse National Policies. Hence, they usually fail to hold their legislators or government accountable. The writer maintains that to alleviate poverty and transform Liberia into a developmental state, the Legislature needs to assume its role by becoming robust, efficient and effective. It must promulgate pro-poor laws and policies intended to alleviate widespread poverty. This will engender national development. He concludes that the National Legislature, through prudent budgetary allocation, needs to promote infrastructural development, the right to food, equitable access to quality education, healthcare, safe drinking water, and public housing.
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