The health status of incumbent Senate President Pro-temp Cletus Wotorson is said to have gone from bad to worse with report that the 73-year-old senator has undergone a second surgery, this time around, in his spinal cord.
Report received by this paper from the United States indicates that the Grand Kru County Senator may not return to the country for at least a year. At the moment, he’s not allowed to neither move his body nor receive and make telephone calls.
Senator Wotorson, an executive of the governing Unity Party, is seeking re-election for the Pro-temp post in the upcoming elections for legislative leadership scheduled for 9 January, 2011.
The race for the senate pro -Temp seat is drawing much interest on Capitol Hill with reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently met with a group of senators behind closed doors to get their support for incumbent Grand Bassa County Senior Senator Milton Gbezongar Finley, who also in the race.
Findley, who contested for the Grand Bassa County senior senatorial seat in 2005 as an independent candidate, is a confidant of the Executive. The latest development comes in the wake of the ill health of incumbent Senate Protemp Cletus Wotorson.
According to Executive Mansion sources, following her return from Oslo, Norway last week, President Sirleaf met with 10 senators and appealed to them to give their votes to Senator Finley.
Some of the Senators, who reportedly attended the meeting with the President, include John Ballout of Maryland County; Fredrick Cheru of River Gee County; Lahai Lassana of Grand Cape Mount County; Sinoe County re-elected Senator Joseph Nagbe; Bomi County newly elected Senator Sando Johnson, and GbTzongar Finley of Grand Bassa County.
President Sirleaf is said to have urged the senators to join the process of negotiating with their fellow senators to ensure that the UP maintains the Pro-temp seat through the victory of Senator Finley.
Those vying for the Senate Pro-tempore position include Senators Cletus Wotorson, Jewel Howard-Taylor, Claric Jah and Gbezongar Findley. However, reports from the senate say among the four candidates, Bong County Senior Senator Jewel Howard Taylor seems to be the favorite.
An insider told this paper that through strong lobby from Sinoe County Senior Senator Mubutu Vlah Nyepan and Grand Gedeh County Senior Senator Isaac Nyenabo, Senator Taylor has secured at least 18 reliable votes among the 30 senators in the Upper House.