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GeneralLiberia news

Nyanti’s confirmation hearing postponed 

--Senate cites security breach

By Ethel A. Tweh

The Liberian Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs has postponed the confirmation hearing of Foreign Minister-designate Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti, citing a security breach.

Much details are not available about what amounted to the security breach, but Nyanti’s nomination to Liberia’s top diplomatic job has attracted positive and negative public attention.

Her supporters believe she is best suited for the job due to her long years of working with the UN in senior positions. However, her critics are questioning her integrity, especially based on their challenge of her academic credentials.

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During Thursday’s hearing on 1 February 2024, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon who also chairs the committee, cited a complete blunder by the Secretary of the Senate.

Dillon said the Senate Secretary had allowed non-senators to troop into the Senate chamber, which led to the abrupt postponement of the confirmation hearing for Madam Nyanti.

Senator Dillon, a staunch supporter of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, noted that the hearing was being postponed for security reasons.

Following her nomination by President Boakai recently, the Foreign Minister-designate appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs for her confirmation hearing on Thursday.

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In the main Chamber of the Senate, Madam Nyanti was accompanied by an unprecedented crowd and political leaders, former ambassadors including family members, and national and international individuals to watch the process.

Most of those individuals who were privileged to enter the chamber on the instruction of the Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, sat in the majority of the seats belonging to senators who were still awaiting proper arrangement to begin the hearing.

Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin was heard in the Chamber strongly warning those sitting in the seats to leave or the hearing would be postponed.

“If y’all can’t leave from the senators’ seats then it means this confirmation hearing will be postponed because I can’t even sit here,” he said and walked out in anger.

The embarrassing situation prevented senators from taking their seats and led to the abrupt postponement of the confirmation hearing by Senator Dillon to Monday, 5 February 5, 2024, at the same venue.

Senator Dillon also told legislative reporters a few minutes after the decision was taken, that the Senate Secretary is to blame for blundering at the entry point of individuals into the Chamber.

“The Secretary blundered, and we are going to correct that,” Senator Dillon stressed.

“We know that these confirmation hearings are of public interest that is why we wanted to ensure that the media is here in a free environment,” said Mr. Dillon.

“The senate chamber is the sanity of the Senate and you saw what happened there. Everybody sat in the chamber and the seats of the senators; where they sit,” he told legislative reporters.

The lawmaker also intimated that there was a security breach but emphasized that his committee will put all necessary things in place before the hearing is held on Monday.

“Those things were put into place, but everybody wanted to intrude in there just like the inauguration; everybody must be here so people will faint too but we didn’t want it to happen today and people even wanted us to go into the Joint Chamber. No, we will not do that,” Senator Dillon noted.

He maintained that the confirmation hearing of any nominee is not and should not be a cheering squad, adding that the process is serious as such people should know their boundaries.

“Everybody feels the feeling of [entitlement] must be even in the Chamber of the Senate where senators are supposed to sit down then people, they’re ambassadors, former ambassadors and sitting in the Chamber of the Senate; nobody does that at the Supreme Court,” the lawmaker noted.

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