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Editorial – Admonishing the House and Senate

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Of late on Capitol Hill, we observed the passage of some sensitive bills, including the Maritime Authority bill by the Liberian Legislature. Interestingly, the absence of the normal debates by members of the House and Senate, which usually characterize the process, is very conspicuous these days.

While it is an open fact that the ruling Unity Party currently has the majority in both Houses of the Liberian Legislature, it doesn’t go to say that all decisions there must be on the basis of party sentiments.

What we are beginning to see now seems not to be in our national interest, but a very few who are now becoming powerful because of their economic strength, and it may just be an embarrassment for the very lawmakers who are making these national mistakes, under the guise of passing laws.

The irony is that those who are politically pendeluming are the most recalcitrant in most of these arguments on national issues in the Liberian Legislature, so much so, that they’ve become even “more unity party” than the very Edward Beyan Kesselly to whom the party is attached.

One thing these legislative brothers and sisters have failed to understand is that a good and desirable partisan is one who looks at issues from a realistic prospective, taking into consideration the interest of their country and those they represent in the House or Senate. But again, it is about impression-making for favor or winning admiration from the President and political leader of the ruling party.

And many a time when the President realizes such false pretense on the part of lawmakers claiming to be true partisans, she capitalizes on such sycophancy and favor-winning political behavior to score political capitals.

One realization for such awesome political behavior of some of our legislature, we thing, could be political fear, as it relates to their inability  to deliver on the fabulous promises they initially made to their people and parties, coupled with their poor relationships with the people they claim to represent since entering the Liberian Legislature in 2006.

Probably, as a result of these inadequacies, intertwined with the fear that those they presently represent may no longer feel comfortable to place their trusteeship in their hands come 2011, one best thing to do, in their minds, is to cross over to the ruling Unity Party so that at the end of the political day, Madam President can offer them jobs elsewhere, if they failed to win in their respective constituencies.

But again, these lawmakers must understand that after 2011 may just be a different ball-game, as this present era may just be too different from the next era after the elections—who knows whether they would not be left in the wilderness.

Representatives and Senators who may be “overly protective and defense” against decisions that should positively affect their constituencies must be very cognizant of the fact that it is only, and only the people’s interest that matter most, and as such, their activities at the Liberian Legislature must be compatible with the interest of those they claim to represent and not a single interest or those of a very few.

Another major economic mistake is about to be made again by the majority of our brothers and sisters in the House and Senate; and that is the passage of the act to create a national bureau of concessions.

Whether or not they are not aware of the return of this country to oligarchy, the best we have is to only allow their consciences to judge them. If they allow the vital part of our economic into the hands of the powerful few again, only posterity can judge.

For us, we strongly believe that it is needless to detach the duties and functions of the Liberian Legislature, Ministry of Finance, National Investment Commission and Public Procurement and Concessions Commission in favour of a national bureau of concessions.

These institutions of the government are still fully capacitated to execute all of their respective responsibilities as assigned them by the respective acts that created them.

If there is no money in the government’s coffers for additional seats in the House of Representatives, as announced by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, there should be no money for additional agencies of government, when she refused to sign into law the national population threshold bill passed twice by the Liberian Legislature at 40,000 per constituency.

This is why we are admonishing the Liberian lawmakers, most especially members of the House of Representatives with Unity Party membership, to exercise the highest degree of nationalism and disregard un-necessary party and other sentiments in whatever decision they make.

They must understand that the establishment of a national bureau of concessions at this time is a complete duplication, only in the interest of a few individuals in the current administration, and not for the general good of the Liberian people.

We believe, therefore, that there’s no need for the legislature to pass it into law.

In as much the Executive rejected a decision in the interest of their people for economic reason, they must equally reject the act to create the National Bureau of Concessions not only because of economic reason, but the fact that it is not for the general good of the people of Liberia.

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