Legislature aborts return?

Information available to this paper suggests that the leaderships of both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate are considering plans to abort their return from recess to deal with national issues on Capitol Hill.

The 73 members of the House and the 30 Senators were expected to commence session on Tuesday, 2 October to help with the investigation of the alleged missing $16 billion Liberian Dollars and to fast track the impeachment proceedings of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh from the Supreme Court bench, respectively.

It was reported in the media recently that lawmakers were planning to boycott recess to return to work so as to act on several ‘unfinished businesses.’For their return, reports say they were expected to receive US$10,000 each plus other benefits, including gasoline and recharged cards.

The decision to cut off their break and return to work, this newspaper understands, was done on their own volition, but not requested by President George Manneh Weah.According to a high placed legislative source who asked not to be named, their return would have given the Senate the opportunity to conduct hearing in the impeachment proceedings against Associate Justice Ja’neh.

Another source claims that their return would have also allowed them to act on the Liberia-China resource swap deal.On September 21, the chair of the Senate Committee on Order and Administration, Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, intimated that the Legislature would have reconvened, if the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) failed to provide relevant information about the missing money.

“If the CBL does not come up with clear a statement on the missing container, the Legislature will have to reconvene and summon the Bank governor and other stakeholders,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence noted in a Facebook post.

The Legislature officially closed recently for its annual break to return in January 2019.Senate Pro – Tempore Albert Chie on 7 October, clarified that the Senate was yet to receive a proclamation from President Weah, requesting the Legislature to return to the Capitol Building for extraordinary session.

“I don’t know about any communication from the Lower House, but there is no communication from the Senate. Our return from the break can only be affected through an issuance of a proclamation from the President, and such is yet to happen,” Chie said.

Sen. Chie maintained that a visit to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers was merely on friendship basis, and not for plans of any imminent return.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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