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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Thomas Kaydor’s ‘Liberian Democracy: A Critique of Checks and Balances’ is an outstanding account of the governance problem in Liberia. The Legislature and the Judiciary are indeed weak, ineffective, greedy and corrupt. Many of the law makers are inept, semi illiterate and self-interested thereby denying the citizens the fair share of their resources. This makes the Executive more powerful. Qualified Liberians must therefore integrate forces to place experienced, competent and development oriented people in the Legislature. The first branch of government is the seat of political power, change and transformation in Liberia.
The Legislature is skewed towards the interest of the elites and foreign businesses. The poor do not have access to justice in their own country. This is sad and has accurately been captured in this book. It is hoped that the young and emerging lawyers would reverse this travesty of justice in our national history.
Indeed, this book must be incorporated within the required text books in Liberian schools to awaken students to the reality of making sound electoral decisions during national elections in Liberia. All well-meaning Liberians must read this account because it is a compelling consensus that the Legislature is where power sits and that is where Liberia can be transformed and developed from.