The Liberian Senate Committee on Executive has expressed vote of confidence in outgoing Minister of Transport, Angela Cassel Bush as Minister of State without Portfolio.
The Senate Committee headed by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif took the decision on Tuesday, 22 November following a joint confirmation hearing for Minister Cassel Bush and her colleague, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs-designate, Ambassador Sylvester Grigsby, at the Capitol.
In her presentation before the Senate, Minster Cassel Bush defended her credentials, exemplary leadership skills, integrity and productivity exhibited in her years of public service at various ministries and agencies, including Finance and Development Planning and Transport, respectively.
She recounted major successes in transforming the various places she worked, improving the conditions of employees, boosting government’s revenue through rightful and vigorous collection, and implementing government’s development programs to the letter.
After a brief cross-examination, Minister Bush assured the committee that when confirmed, she will work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed in her by the President, pledging to uphold the Constitution and laws of Liberia at all times.
The outgoing Minister of Transport was initially appointed Ambassador in recent new appointments in government by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. When confirmed, she will succeed Ambassador Grigsby, who is also filling a post made vacant by the death of Dr. Edward B. McClain, Jr.
It was surprising when the Minister surfaced at the Senate for confirmation to a new post, since it was not announced. However, the Constitution, in Article 50 (a) gives the President the authority to appoint individuals to positions in the Executive Branch of government to serve at her will and pleasure. Such appointments may be subject to senate confirmation.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Grigsby also pledged to execute the responsibilities and duties assigned him with great level of dedication when confirmed. He clarified that his new post as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff of the Office of the President requires conducting administrative issues, among others. He also recounted his rich record of public service and commitment to continue serving his country in various ways possible.
The committee chair Senator Doe-Sherif said the body was convinced that the two Ministers-designate were qualified and competent for the respective posts, giving their responses and track records in public service.
She however admonished the Minister of State without Portfolio-designate to always ensure a cordial relation between the Legislature and the Executive by keeping free flow of information between the two distinct branches.
She stressed that with such cordiality, both branches of government could work together on the President’s Legislative Agenda and other governmental issues in the interest of the country and its people.
Other members of the Senate Committee on Executive at the hearing were Senators Jewel Howard Taylor of Bong County, Thomas Grupee of Nimba, Daniel Nathan of Gbarpolu, and Morris Saytumah of Bomi County.
Earlier, Senator Taylor assured the duo of her vote, stressing that it was not about political party affiliations, but moving the administration safely toward its end so that the next government will take off from there.
Also speaking, Senator Morris Saytumah challenged the appointees to live up to their respective duties and responsibilities, stressing that the job requires great deal of dedication and love for country.
The Senate Executive Committee’s confidence in the two Minister of State Designates gives a greenlight for their possible confirmation by the Liberian Senate, but when purely rests with that august body.Editing by Jonathan Browne