By: Augustine N. Myers – Ahead of the general and presidential elections scheduled for next year 2011, the Liberian Leader, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has compelled her entire Cabinet to take an administrative leave effective immediately.
The Liberian Leader issued the directive late Wednesday evening at an Emergency Cabinet Meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Capital, Monrovia.
A release issued from the Office of the Press Secretary at the Executive Mansion, quoted the President as telling members of her Cabinet that the reason for demanding their mass administrative leave, is that her Administration is entering a critical stretch.
This, according to her, would be an opportunity for her to start with a fresh slate going forward.
The Liberian Leader further announced that a Cabinet restructuring will be made in the shortest possible time and that several Ministers could be recalled.
President Johnson-Sirleaf added that until such time when the Ministers are asked to return to their respective Ministries, their successors who are already appointed designated Deputies are authorized to act in their stead.
The President then thanked all those affected, for their patriotic services to Government and their Nation.
She also called for strong commitment from those who will remain on the team in the next phase of her administration.
The Liberian Leader further disclosed that similar exercise will be undertaken for the concerned Autonomous Agencies of Government, emphasizing the reason for her action was because she wanted to assess Ministers’ performance.
According to her, she wants her Administration to be what she called, “most effective going forward”.
She however told the Ministers that she appreciated their contributions, but the leave can be used as an opportunity for reflection on their part, especially those who might be considering other career opportunities.
The President said that those Ministers who are travelling and on special assignments will be allowed to complete their missions before being affected by her directive.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Leader has however made one exception, asking the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward McClain to hold on to his position in order to collaborate with Vice President, Joseph Boakai.
Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Ministers, Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai thanked the President for providing them the opportunity to serve her Administration and the Country.
He said they would be available to serve again whenever called upon. The decision by the Liberian Leader came as a complete surprise to the affected Ministers and the general public.
However the public has welcomed the move, describing it as in the best interest of the Government to be restructured, ahead of the 2011 general and president elections.