In a surprising move, President George Weah has withdrawn Executive Order# 123, issued Tuesday, which established the Joint Presidential Transitional Team (JPTT).
In an executive mansion release dated November 21, President Weah noted that he was setting up the JPTT by virtue of the power and authority vested in him pursuant to Chapter 2, Article 5(c) of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia (1986), authorizing him to develop a system of appropriate protocols and mechanisms for the smooth transfer of power from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change to President-Elect, Joseph Boakai.
However, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh, announced the withdrawal Wednesday, November 22, 2023, stating that President Weah decided to revise and reissue the order in coming days.
Under the now-withdrawn order, both the outgoing President and the President-elect were set to co-chair the Joint Presidential Transition Team that includes members of the current government, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Minister of Justice, Minister of National Defense, and Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
Additional appointees comprised key positions in various ministries and government agencies, with President-Elect, Joseph Boakai invited to designate 20 Liberian citizens to the JPTT.
Despite the withdrawal, it is anticipated that the revised order will maintain the core structure, including the co-chairing arrangement between the Incumbent President and the President-elect.
The Executive Order emphasized consensus decision-making within the JPTT, with dispute resolution falling under the joint responsibility of the Incumbent President and the President-elect.
The original order dictated that the JPTT would commence its functions within 48 hours of the National Elections Commission’s declaration of the President-Elect and would conclude its activities with the publication of the Final Report no later than 48 hours before the Inauguration of the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect in January.
While the withdrawal adds a layer of uncertainty to the transition process, the incumbent President is expected to call the first meeting of the JPTT within 48 hours after the National Elections Commission’s declaration of the President-Elect, as outlined in the initial executive order.
This development adds a unique dimension to the unfolding transition dynamics, prompting keen interest in the revised Executive Order that President Weah intends to issue in the coming days.