Grand Kru County, District #2 Representative J. Fonati Koffa has won the post of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, replacing Bong County Representative Prince Moye who is now inducted as senator of Bong County.
His win on Tuesday, 12 January is a slap in the face of the main opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) which had mandated its lawmakers at the House of Representatives to vote for its candidate Representative Clarence Massaquoi of Lofa County for the deputy speaker post.
Koffa had the backing of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for the in – house election among members of the House of Representatives which was held at the Capitol Building.
Representative Koffa massively defeated the CPP’s choice Mr. Massaquoi with 45 votes or 67.16 percent of the total votes cast.
Mr. Massaquoi got 20 votes amounting to 29.88 percent of the total votes cast while the lone female candidate Moima Briggs Mensah collected only two votes.
A total of 68 ballots casted Tuesday for the deputy speaker position, though the House of Representatives has a total membership of 73 lawmakers.
And this is because there were three absentees during the in-house election and two lawmakers are also deceased, thereby reducing the number of voters to 68.
Immediately after the votes count, House Deputy Speaker, Koffa in his acceptance speech, lauded all for the confidence reposed in him to be elected as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Deputy House Speaker Koffa calls on members of the House of Representatives to get back to doing the work of the people by enacting laws that will see the prosperity of Liberia.
He says it is an honor to serve the Liberian people and he is up and ready to perform his duty.
Koffa is seen to be politically grounded and one who understands the politics of Liberia. He is a founding member of the opposition Liberty Party, a constituent member of the CPP.
He became Liberty Party’s chairman from 2011 to 2014 and oversaw its growth and expansion, including winning legislative seats for the party and ensuring that its lawmakers sat on and led ranking committees in the Legislature.
But Koffa resigned from the Liberty Party and joined the CDC where he serves as a member of the Executive Council.
He is comparatively one of Liberia’s brightest barristers and began his legal career in the United States in 1998 in private practice and would move to Liberia in 2009 to become a founder and Managing Partner of the International Law Group (ILG), now one of the emerging corporate and government firms in Liberia.
He was admitted to the Supreme Court Bar of Liberia as valedictorian of its Class of 2014.
Koffa was educated at the University Of North Carolina School Of Law at Chapel Hill, where he obtained a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree in Law. He also holds a Master Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Raleigh, North Carolina State University, and a Bachelor of Public Administration (Cum Laude) with a concentration in Urban Planning, from Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
For his part, defeated candidate Clarence Massaquoi thanked his colleague for his victory, saying he will continue to do the Liberian people’s work.
By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley