Members of the Liberian Senate will today, Thursday, 12 February to go to the poll to elect a new President Pro-Tempore and chairpersons of statutory committees to stir the affairs of the upper House for the next three years.
The positions were made vacant as a result of the inability of Senators Milton G. Findley (President Pro tempore), Sumo Kupee (Chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget), Lahai Lassanah (Chairman on Rules, Order and Administration) and Clarice Jah (Chairman on the Executive) to get re-elected in the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.
In consonance with the rules of the Liberian Senate, its Secretary, Mr. Nagbolor Singbe, announced the vacancy last week Thursday for the position of President Pro-Tempore for which he encouraged interested senators to apply or seek nomination.
Similar announcement was made for the chairpersons of the statutory committees on Ways, Means, Finance; the Executive; Rules, Order and Administration; and Banking and Currency, respectively.
Others expected to be filled during the election include Chairman on Youths and Sports of former Senator Jonathan Banney of Rivercess County, and the position of Representative to the ECOWAS Parliament occupied by former Sinoe County Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan.
Currently, there are three Senators in the race for the Pro-Tempore seat – Gbarpolu County Senator Armah Jallah of the National Patriotic Party or NPP; Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD and Margibi County Senator, Oscar Cooper of the ruling Unity Party.
The three senators have been spending sometimes convincing their colleagues to elect them.
Information available to this paper indicates that Senator Nagbe of Sinoe County is being supported by the Chief Executive, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, while Armah Jallah is rallying his NPP colleagues and senators from the opposition Liberty Party to occupy the seat. Senator Cooper of Margibi County is strongly engaging independent candidates and ruling Unity Party senators for support to become President Pro-Tempore in what is being dubbed ‘Three-Horse Race.’
Sources within the camp of Sen. Jallah suggest that all Liberty Party senators, including Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Jonathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa and Steve Zargo of Lofa Counties are resolved to cast their ballots for him, while also enjoying full support from Senators Geraldine Doe Sherif of Montserrado and Sando Johnson of Bomi Counties respectively.
Sinoe County’s Joseph Nagbe has reportedly managed to win the minds of Senators J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe, George Weah of Montserrado, Conmany Wesseh of River Gee, Albert Chie of Grand Kru and Jewel Howard-Taylor and Henry Yallah of Bong Counties, respectively.
Support base for Margibi’s Oscar Cooper is still not clear.
There is still uncertainty over who stands a better chance in today’s election.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor