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Fight for Deputy Speaker post intensifies

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The dust has not settled down totally from the December 08, 2020 special senatorial election and national referendum when lawmakers at the Capitol are already eying the post of deputy speaker, made vacant by the overwhelming election of Bong County Representative Prince Moye, to the Senate.

Now Senator-elect, Mr. Moye held the post for three years since the inauguration of President George Manneh Weah in 2018 until he vied for the Senate and won in his native Bong County.

Several members of the House have expressed desire to contest for the deputy speaker post, including Grand Kru County Electoral District #2 Representative, Cllr. J. FonatiKoffa. Rumors had circulated in the corridors of the 54th Legislature that Representative Koffa has been nurturing the ambition of becoming Speaker of the House.

According to the rules of the House of Representatives, whenever there is vacancy for the deputy speakership, the leadership and the entire membership of the House shall elect a member during their first or second day of sitting statutorily in January.

Also, Representatives Samuel Kogar and Johnson Gwakolo both of Nimba County have expressed interest for the post, besides Montserrado County Representative Richard Koon of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).

But Cllr. Koffa, who chairs the House of Representatives statutory committee on Judiciary, is said to have already begun consultations, as the bid for the second leadership position intensifies.

The Grand Kru County District #2 Representative and former national chairman of the opposition Liberty Party has been petitioned by his colleagues to join six other Representatives eyeing the deputy speaker position. On Saturday, Rep. Koffa replied scores of journalists: “I have not joined anything. I am in consultation to join.”

However, the complete line-up of lawmakers with interest for the second highest office in the House are: Lofa County District #3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi; Education Chairman, Rep. Johnson Gwaikolo of Nimba County District #9; Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Samuel Kogar (Nimba County District #5); Rep. Moima Briggs-Mensah of Bong County District #6 and Rep. Richard Koon of Montserrado County District #12, respectively.

Sources said if Rep. Koffa entered the race, he has 95% probability of winning, but could face strong challenge from Rep. Gwaikolo and Rep. Clarence Massaquoi in the impending fight to replace Prince K. Moye, who has ascended to the Senate.

Impeccable sources revealed that Rep. Koffa met with about 25 members of the House of Representatives on Friday night in a local hotel in Monrovia on his quest for the post.

One of those at the meeting said the “like-minded” Representatives present agreed to support Cllr. Koffa’s candidature for deputy speaker, arguing that he has a “big heart, open hand and is educated to ably assist in steering the affairs of the Honorable House of Representatives in and outside” of Liberia.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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