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Rep. Youngblood loses bid for ECOWAS Parliament

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Rep. Youngblood NDMontserrado County district #9 Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood has been defeated 48 to 11 votes by Bomi County district #3 Representative Haja F. Siryon in the election of Liberia’s representatives to the ECOWAS Parliament.

Representative Youngblood, who was seen early Tuesday, 25 August in the Chamber of the House, lobbying with her colleagues, was massively flogged by the Bomi County lawmaker, who has previously served on the ECOWAS Parliament.

The mood in the Chamber was tensed after the session was called to order as Speaker Tyler and Deputy Speaker Barchue turned over the presiding seats to the chief clerk of the House of Representatives Mildred N. Sayon, who presided over the election.

Madam Sayon read the election guidelines and later informed members of the House that the ECOWA Parliament’s rules allow each participating country to send three representatives: two males and a female.

After a lengthy lobby, the presiding officer announced the floor opened for candidate’s nomination. Montserrado County district #6 Representative Edwin M. Snow and Sinoe County district #1 Representative Jefferson S. Karmoh, an incumbent ECOWAS Parliamentarian were respectively nominated alone with another incumbent ECOWAS Parliamentarian, Bomi County district #3 Representative Haja F. Siryon and Montserrado County district #9 MunahPelhum Youngblood.

Representatives Snow and Karmoh won the poll on white ballot, leaving the battle between the two female candidates in the race, Representatives Munah Youngblood and HajaSiryon. Youngblood, who was given a moment to tell her colleagues why she should be elected to represent Liberia to the ECOWAS Parliament, described herself as being the right female candidate because of her role played over the years, championing women’s cause.

The Montserrado lawmaker promised that if elected, she will flag gender issues at the parliament, particularly to have voices of Liberian women heard in one of the greatest parliaments in Africa. For her part, Representative Siryon appreciated her colleagues for the opportunity afforded her the first time to represent Liberia, adding that it was during her participation in ECOWAS Parliament, she was selected among hundreds of representatives from other ECOWAS countries to pursue studies in international law in the United States.

She also appealed to her colleagues to allow complete what she has started at ECOWA, vowing to highlight plight of Liberians and the country at the regional parliament. The ECOWAS Parliament is the Assembly of Peoples representing West Africa. The parliament consists of 115 seats, which each of the 15 Member States being entitled to at least five seats.

The remaining seats are shared in proportion to each country’s population. As a result, Nigeria has 35 seats, Ghana 8, Côte d’Ivoire 7, while Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal have 6 seats each. Other countries: Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo have 5 seats each. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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