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Former lawmakers threaten protest

Former Representatives of the 53rd Legislature are issuing a threat here that they will protest if government does not pay them their three months salaries areas and other benefits by 15 June 2018.

If their concern is addressed by government as they are requesting, each of these Representatives from the 53rd Legislature may walk away with approximately US$39,000.00 for the three months they are claiming that the past government of former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf did not settle.

Liberian lawmakers’ salaries remain secretive, but there are suggestions that Representatives’ salaries and benefits combined are somewhere around US$13,000.00 a month, totaling US$39,000.00 for each of the lawmakers for their three months of arrears.

That could also mean that the administration of President George Manneh Weah would have to pay out a combined total of US$2,847,000.00 to settle three months salaries and benefits for the 73 Representatives of the 53rd Legislature, some of whom were reelected.

According to a communication sent to the Plenary of the House of Representatives Tuesday, 5 June, the former Representatives remind members of the 54th Legislature of their unpaid salaries and benefits which were promised to be finally settled as allegedly allocated in the 2017/2018 National Budget.

The former lawmakers say they are constrained to issue yet another reminder to their former colleagues due to delays occasioned by a seeming nonchalant approach to the settlement of their legitimate entitlements.

The communication also states that it is extremely disheartening for the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature who are former colleagues of the former lawmakers would allegedly adopt a cold shoulder approach to the welfare and concerns of their former colleagues.

The communication signed by the protesting former lawmakers’ Chairman Mr. Numene T. H. Bartekwa of Grand Kru County, District #2 says they believe very passionately that the best collection of legislators who can better seek their wellbeing is this group.

The group of former lawmakers also says they have resolved that if nothing is done by 15 June, they will stage a humble collective appearance in an executive session of plenary of the 54th Legislature on Tuesday, 19 June to accentuate the urgency of their concerns.

When contacted, the chairman of the group told this paper that the government of Liberia owes them three months salaries and other benefits. Meanwhile the House of Representatives has forwarded the communication to the leadership for its action.

By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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