Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has formally taken office as President of the Liberian Senate, outlining the enormous challenges awaiting the new government headed by President George Manneh Weah.
“Out there, we see an ocean of unemployed youth, the unquenched desire for economic and political empowerment of women and an emaciated people wailing for emancipation and relief”, Vice President Taylor says.
However, she urges members of the senate, “We must convince them that in these chambers we are doing nothing but our very best to address these inadequacies.”
Mrs Taylor who took over from the ex-ruling Unity Party defeated standard bearer, former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who lost to the Coalition for Democratic Change in the December 26, 2017 runoff Presidential election.
Article 51 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution states: There shall be a Vice–President who shall assist the President in the discharge of his functions. The Vice–President shall be elected on the same political ticket and shall serve the same term as the President. The Vice–President shall be President of the Senate and preside over its deliberations without the right to vote, except in the case of a tie vote. He shall attend meetings of the cabinet and other governmental meetings and shall perform such functions as the President shall delegate or deem appropriate; provided that no powers specifically vested in the President by the provisions of this Constitution shall be delegated to the Vice–President.
A former senator and ex-first lady herself, she notes that in the discharge of her critical role, “I can lean on the guidance from God, the full support from you the members of the senate, and the inspiration from the Liberian people. As one fully conscious of the truism that the common denominator for all three branches of our government is the quest for the enhancement of the welfare of the people, I shall commit this gavel to the harmonization of precepts, purpose and action steps that engender outcomes that positively impact the lives of those who have placed their trust in us and sent us here.”
The Vice President acknowledges that the challenge of Liberia is more glaring, saying the overwhelming evidence of the reality that the changing of the political guards at the helm of the national leadership has occasioned such dramatic soaring of the expectations of the people.
She says with the elections and the attendant euphoria fast receding in history, Liberians should now settle down to do the work of the people with a renewed determination to transform, once and for all, the lives of the Liberian people.
The ceremony, which took place inside the chambers of the Liberian Senate Tuesday, 23 January just a day after her historic inauguration along with President George Weah at the Samuel kanyon Doe Sports Complex witnessed by several leaders from the continent, Europe and America, including soccer stars.
Former senators, who had worked with her in the senate prior to her ascendency as Vice President and President of the senate, presented gifts for her achievement as the new Vice President and President of the senate.
“By virtue of my role as vice president of the state and president of the Liberian Senate, I acknowledge my unique position as the only public official of our government, specifically privileged by our organic law to have one foot in the first branch and the other in the second branch of our government,” Mrs Taylor notes.
She then stresses, it is therefore imperative that finished products from the citadel of republican democracy must go to strengthening the democracy, reinforcing the hope and optimism of the people, and broadening the nation’s image onto greater vistas, which according to her, is the essentiality of the new government’s pro-poor agenda.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne