Information within the corridors of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill indicates that members of the newly formed ‘Independent Legislative Caucus’ have threatened to boycott legislative session today, Tuesday, 5 March until their demands are met.
The Independent Legislative Caucus comprising 42 Representatives from the House alone are demanding Speaker Bhofal Chambers’ leadership to pay their two years scholarship allowance, which amounts to US$4,000.
They are further demanding payment of their four months gasoline allowance, one month salary and ten months constituents’ allowance.
Failure to satisfy these demands, the NewDawn gathers that members of the Independent Legislative Caucus at the House of Representatives are determined to see that the House of Representatives does not function.
A ranking member of the ‘Independent Legislative Caucus and Montserrado County Electoral District #15 Rep. Adolph Lawrence, told this paper Monday, 4 March on Capitol Hill that it is unfortunate for the government through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to boast of overly generating revenues, but members of the first branch of government cannot get their just benefits and salaries.
Rep. Lawrence whose wife Nyonblee Kangar – Lawrence is a senator, laments that it is unfortunate that members of the House of Representatives cannot get their just benefits while salaries, gasoline, scholarship allowance and other benefits are given regularly to their counterparts in the Senate.
Meanwhile, members of the Independent Legislative Caucus are expected to hold a strategic meeting today, 5 March to discuss their next rule of engagement with the Chambers leadership at the House of Representatives.
They are also expected to discuss their approach to the situation if the leadership of the House fails to adhere to their demands.
When contacted via mobile phone, Speaker Chambers’ private and official numbers rang on several occasions without a response to our staff.
A group of aggrieved members of the House of Representatives organized themselves into a group now called Independent Legislative Caucus on 20 January this year.
The group’s chair, Nimba County Rep. Larry Yonquoi says, they aim at bringing about independence and credibility to the House of Representatives.
Since he assumed the Speakership, Bhofal Chambers has always been in the line of fire either for the way he proceeds as the Presiding Officer or his intolerant posture against his colleagues.
He faces criticisms for allegedly using his power as Speaker to try to silence his colleagues at the House, mainly those he considers opposition because of their independent views.
Chambers, as a bitter opposition lawmaker during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, saw nothing positive in what the former president’s regime did.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor –Edited by Winston W. Parley