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Empty Chambers after impeachment

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A vast majority of Senators abandoned session at the Senate on Tuesday, 2 April, their first sitting since the controversial impeachment of former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh on Friday, 29 March.

Our correspondent at the Liberian Senate says just 10 senators were seated for their first session on Tuesday, while the rest of the 19 Senators could not be seen anywhere on Capitol Hill.

Most of the absentee Senators appear to have granted themselves holidays without first being granted permission by authorities, as the Presiding Officer for Tuesday’s session Maryland County Sen. H. Dan Morrais complains that only seven senators were granted excuse.

He says he didn’t hear from the other [12] senators. The scene at the Liberian Senate was as if the Senators had taken an agriculture break following the controversial impeachment.

However Sen. Morrais finds that those who gave excuses could form part of the quorum to conduct session for Tuesday, 2 April.

He stated that the 10 Senators that were present along with the seven excused Senators totaled 17, meaning they could have quorum.

While the Sergeant – At – Arms toured Senators’ offices in search of them, our reporter observes that there was a break in time to wait and see if other senators could be seen and reminded that they needed to go for session.

This effort only saw Nimba County Sen. Prince Y. Johnson showing up, stepping the number of senators present to 11.

River Gee County Sen. CommanyWesseh, opted that there should be no session because the Senate rules do not give account of absent senators.

He warns that he would walk out if the presiding officer insisted on conducting session.
As he walks out of the Senate Chambers, Sen. Wessehreminded the Senators that their action to hold session in the absence of a physical quorum violates its own rules, adding that it wasn’t strange since they had already violated the Liberian Constitution, apparently reminding them of the impeachment trial of former Associate Justice Ja’neh.

“I cannot sit here while the Senate’s Standing Rule 7 is violated,” Sen. Wesseh says.He notes that there is no quorum but the presiding insists on conducting session.

“This is a situation of lawlessness and this lawlessness must stop, it is not good for our country,” he continues.

Sen. Wesseh continues to lash the Senate He also said that the Senate, saying the impeachment of former Justice Ja’neh was illegal and unconstitutional.
By Ethel A. Tweh –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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