Members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature have voted overwhelmingly in evaluating five Standing Committees to Statutory Committees.
The Committees include: Health and Social Welfare, Peace and Reconciliation, Lands, Mines and Resources, Youth and Sports, and Investment. The decision by the lawmakers Tuesday came in the wake of a communication from Montesrrado County Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, calling on plenary of the House of Representatives to evaluate the five committees to Statutory level, creating room for those areas within the Legislature.
The functions of the various Statutory Committees require the involvement of the leadership of the House of Representatives in terms of decision making or speedy action. Debating the matter, Maryland County Representative James Biney, said the evaluation of the committees to Statutory level will democratize the leadership of the 53rd Legislature.
Earlier, the communication was strongly resisted by Lofa County Rep. Eugene Fallah Kparkar, who described the decision as another channel to create positions for close friends of the leadership in the House.
Rep. Kparkar, who lost the deputy speaker post, indicated that it makes no sense for a committee to be at statutory level to gain plenary attention, noting that such request is not a good example for the plenary and members of the House.
But Rep. Kparkar’s comments were debunked by Margibi County Rep. Emmanuel Nuoquay, who pointed out that the elevation of those committees will not cause plenary any monetary cost and that it will also bring onboard many lawmakers to have full understanding of the body politicking of the first branch of government.
Rep. Snowe said that those areas, including health and social welfare, peace and reconciliation, lands, mines and resources, and youth sectors are vital and strategic segments that require devoted time and serious attention in collaboration with the executive branch of government.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Alex Tyler, has made additional appointments in both Statutory and Standing Committees. Those appointed include Ricks Toweh of Nimba County, Chairperson on Peace and Reconciliation; Montserrado County Rep. Arcarous Gray, Chairperson on Good Governance; Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah, Chairperson on Maritime, and Bong County Rep. George Mulbah, Chairperson on Defense and National Security.
Others are Montserrado County Rep. Richmond Anderson, Chairperson on Information, Culture and Tourism and James Biney of Maryland County, Chairperson on Concession, Contract and Monopoly; Bong County Rep. Lester Paye, Chairperson on Youth and Sports, while Montserrado County Representative Solomon George, is Co-chair.
However, Rep. Mulbah has described his appointment as a total misplacement, adding that he has no knowledge on defense or security and that the country should not expect much from him on security matters.