Echo from the Capitol

New leaderships have taken seats at the Capitol following the elections Monday, 15 January of a new Speaker for the House of Representatives and a new Pro-Tempore for the Liberian Senate, respectively, ushering in the 54th Session of the Liberian Legislature.

Speaker Dr. Bohfal Chambers promised to rebrand the House of Representatives thru dynamic leadership with national reconciliation as a hallmark, while Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Tugbeh Chie vowed to closely work with the Executive branch of government to initiate stimulus programs that would reverse the dismal performance of the economy in both short and long terms.

Both leadership of the 54th Legislature promised to prioritize the general wellbeing of the Liberian people to achieving peace, prosperity and stability. These are encouraging commitments, and Liberians anxiously welcome these early promises, which they hope are not mere lip services, but would be made realities.

Members of the 54th Legislature have no choice. They must go all out in doing legislative businesses differently that would depart from the recent past when greed and selfish interest took precedent over genuine commitment to service.

The Legislature as first branch of the Liberian government serves as a pendulum that keeps the Executive in check and also an engine that drives the Judiciary thru its lawmaking. And so it sits in a crucial position to stabilize the entire country thru responsible leadership.

Liberians are still struggling to come to terms with the manner in which the 53rd Legislature went ahead and ratified several dozen concessions that made no tangible or visible impacts on their lives as citizens. They kept hoping for the better up to the last minute of this administration that relinquishes power next Monday, 22 January to an elected government.

They sincerely look forward to a departure from such failed performance that left them with nothing, but failed hope and dreams, particularly our fellow compatriots that reside in concessional areas.

The 54th Legislature has a glorious opportunity to prove public perceptions wrong that it would be another rubberstamp legislature that will dance to the tone of the Executive even when there is nothing to dance for, while the masses languish in poverty and misery.

Therefore, we challenge Speaker Chambers and Pro-Tempore Chie to execute the Liberian people’s duties with scrupulous commitment and outmost sincerity so that their legacies will go down in history as leaders who presided over a legislature that refused to do business as usual.

The echo from the Capitol is one of hope and anxiety. Hope that the electorate confidence will not dashed along the wayside again, and anxiety that their expectations will be met in line with the promises made to them when the leaders they have elected went to seek their votes.

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