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Editorial

Electing the Senate’s leadership must be on the basis of principles, and not….

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By now, Liberians in the fifteen political subdivisions of the country know the new group of fifteen Senators recently elected in a Special Senatorial election on Saturday, December 20, 20014.

The National Elections Commission or NEC, on Saturday, December 27, announced the official results of the election, officially naming candidates who won the poll. Only two of the incumbent fifteen Senators, somehow, managed to secure re-election- an indication of the lack of confidence in the current Legislators by their constituents as a result of their inability to relate to them in consonance with their (Lawmakers) functions.

What remains ahead are their certification by the NEC and subsequent induction in early January of 2015, even though the certification of a few Senators-elect may be hindered by protests currently before the NEC and probably, an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia should there be any dissatisfaction by the complainants.

Be that as it may, one emerging issue now at the core of discussions in certain quarters in Monrovia is that of the occupation of the position of President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate among the thirty Senators.

Coming out of these public debates is name such as Cllr. Varney Sherman among the new comers, while footballer-turned Politician George Oppong Weah is reportedly under the influence of his CDC supporters to put himself forward for the position of President Pro-Temp.  On the other hand, reports emanating from the Liberian Senate are suggesting that fifteen of the incumbent Senators are very resolute on one of their kinds, especially Margibi’s Oscar Cooper, Maryland’s Dam Moriaa   and Bong’s Jewel Howard Taylor.

And in the search for a Senator to replace outgoing Grand Bassa County Senator Milton G. Findley as President Pro-Temp of the Liberian Senate according the reports, there may be a number of factors that the Senators will consider. They include experience and continuity in the Senate, ability to stabilize and promote unity of purpose among the Senators, as well as independence as a way of making the Liberian Senate more viable and focused for the general good of the Liberian people.

To save the already dwindling image of the Senate, the Senators may oppose a candidate that would easily compromise, in terms of ‘selling out’ to the Executive as experienced under the outgoing Leadership to the detriment of the image and respect of other well-meaning Senators, as well as discourage the promotion of regional and party politics in favor of balanced governance, wherein decisions (lawmaking, representation and oversight) in the senate would be on the basis of national interest (the people) and not a few in the government as currently being experienced.

However the decision of the Senators may be to elect a new President Pro-Temp, it must not be on the basis of sentiments, but the factors mentioned to include experience, independence and the ability to stabilize situations, especially when it comes to decisions by the Senate involving the interest of the people of Liberia.

 

In other words, electing the leadership of the Liberian Senate this time, must be on the basis of principles and not sentiments and ‘cash influence’ arising out of ‘Executive interest’.

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