Grand Kru County senator Dr. Peter Sonpon Coleman’s verbal attacks on River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh during a regular session last at the Senate has met a critical reply.
Unhappy that the Liberian Senate did not do more in providing funds for the pending elections as well as confirming nominees for the NEC, Senate Wesseh, in a mockery suggests that NEC officials confirmed by the Senate are effective and the election process is on course and there’s no need of fear.
Ahead of the NEC officials’ proposed appearance before the Senate to provide update on reported electoral violence and trucking of voters by aspirants, Senator Wesseh suggests that the Liberian Senate failed to provide funding to the National Elections Commission for smooth operation.
He suggests that the Legislature should have provided funding to NEC’s immediate past board of commissioners, but there were claims that any fund sent to NEC at the time would have been corrupted by the commission.
Additionally, he notes that the confirmation hearing of the current NEC Board did not take into consideration experience of the commissioners. Of the seven commissioners, he says only two have wealth of experience while the rest of the five are learning on the job.
Yet Wesseh says members of the Senate confirmed all without conducting further vetting process, warning that this leads to a huge fear of lack of confidence in the entire senatorial election process.
He cautions that if much attention is not given and if the process is not taken seriously, it could lead to violence, a situation that he notes will prevent all senators from doing their works as lawmakers. According to Senator Wesseh, only Dr. Coleman who is medical practitioner will be working at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center where victims of the violence will be treated.
When Senator Coleman was contacted via mobile phone to provide further explanations, his phone rang endlessly on several occasions. The NEC was due to provide update on reported electoral violence and trucking of voters from one point to another by aspirants.
The decision to invite the NEC followed the Senate’s Committee on Elections and Inauguration headed by Bong County Senator, Dr. Henrique Tokpah’s report highlighting some of the challenges facing the ongoing voters’ roll update exercise.
As the debate about the NEC’s invitation intensified on the Senate’s floor, River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh suggests that those appointed and subsequently confirmed by the Senate are effective and the process of election is on course and there’s no need of fear.
Senator Wesseh says Senator Peter Coleman should be prepared to provide his professional services to many citizens in the near future if the pending election ends in violence and it returns Coleman to the hospital to serve Liberians instead of being in the Senate.
But his comments did not go down well with Senator Peter Sonpon Coleman, who claims that when Wesseh and others were enjoying former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s administration, he did not speak against some of the challenges they are now considering as ‘bad governance’. He slams Senator Wesseh, saying it is unfair for a sitting senator to mock officials that were confirmed by senators in the public glare.
Senator Coleman claims that former President Sirleaf reportedly cheated others in the 2014 River Gee special election to allow Senator Wesseh come through as victor.
That prompted Sen. Wesseh to request an explanation from Coleman about the death of late River Gee County Senator Isaac Johnson, who died following surgery conducted by Senator Coleman at his private Malag Clinic during the early days of former President Sirleaf’s administration.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley