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Editorial: Bad Starting At the 53rd Legislature

News from the Capitol that members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature have begun to quarrel among themselves over budgetary allotment is disappointing, to say the least. This early signal is an indication of things to come that could make that honorable body no different from its predecessor, the 52nd Legislature, where graft and self took precedent over the interest of the people.

We think at this early stage, the lawmakers should be concerned with organizing their offices, appointing heads of various committees, among others. But they seem to be more concentrated on which of the two houses should have the highest budgetary allotment and benefits.

If members of the first branch of government, who the entire country looks up to for major national decisions, begin to scramble for benefits and remunerations, we wonder how they would respond when bills are introduced on the floor accompanied by inducing envelopes. No doubt, such propositions would surely pass into law without serious scrutiny.

Our 53rd Legislature should know that they were elected to the Capital for serious business and must therefore act in such manners to win the trust of the people they now represent.  We call on the legislators to abandon the current tussle over who should get the highest allotment and benefits and instead, reflect on the huge responsibilities ahead of them. Making laws for the country is a serious matter that deserves utmost attention.

In the past six years, so many bills were enacted into law with some of them now producing backlashes for the people. Current problems with some concessional agreements that were singed into law speak to this fact.

This country cannot afford to continue on the path of round peg in square hole. There must be a departure from business as usual. We all saw the headache the nation went through during the 2011 elections because of selfish amendments that were made in the threshold bill. Now is time for serious business. If the lawmakers are not satisfied with their current allotment and benefits, they should wait for the next budgetary period to do those adjustments they feel are necessary rather than fussing among themselves.

Our people deserve the best from the 53rd Legislature. This is why they entrusted their votes to them on polling day, October 11, 2011. We raise these concerns not to be seen as barking unnecessarily, but to keep our legislators in check so that they won’t fall into temptation at least not so early.

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