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Sen. Teahjay: Legislative independence eroded

By Lincoln G. Peters

Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay says the independence of the Legislature that Liberia’s former Interim President the late Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer envisaged long ago has been eroded because the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate have become a place of twisting arms to the Executive.

After attending the People’s Day of Honor held by the University of Liberia memorializing the late Dr. Sawyer, Teahjay told reporters in an interview Thursday, 31 March 2022, that Dr. Sawyer protected the independence of the Legislature during his administration as Interim President of Liberia.

“The independence of the Legislature that Dr. Sawyer envisaged long ago as Interim President has been eroded over the years,” said Senator Teahjay. 

He said Dr. Sawyer wished that the independence of the Legislature would continue to be respected today, but it has been completely ignored and wiped away by one government after another.

According to the Sinoe County lawmaker, under Dr. Sawyer’s interim administration the Legislature took decisions without the manipulation and intervention of the Executive, adding that Dr. Sawyer respected the decision of the Legislature.

Senator Teahjay recalled that there was a time Dr. Sawyer’s best friend Byron Tarr was nominated as Finance Minister and he was rejected by the Liberian Senate. Yet, Teahjay said, Dr. Sawyer, did not try to twist arms with the Legislature to get his friend confirmed by the Senate.

“Mind you, today [one] administration after another will try to get away by twisting arms with the Legislature. Therefore, I do not think what Dr. Sawyer envisaged is in place today,” said Teahjay.

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Mr. Teahjay used the occasion to urge the Government of Liberia to increase its support to the University of Liberia (UL) so that it can be able to adequately prepare the nation’s future leaders.

“The government now should improve the output of the University of Liberia by putting enough money in the budget of UL so that our children will be much more prepared when they are leaving the walls of the University of Liberia,” said Teahjay. 

“It’s only by that we can have another generation of Dr. Sawyer that will stand for social justice, democracy and good governance,’’ he noted.

The Sinoe County lawmaker described Dr. Sawyer as a historical generational thinker that was always willing and ready to die for the future of Liberia by ensuring that justice was done to all regardless of their affiliation, tribe and association.

He further told the interview that Dr. Sawyer fought for democracy in Liberia, adding that he will never be forgotten because everyone is a beneficiary of the work of the deceased.

“The loss of Dr. Sawyer has caused a serious vacuum in the country. However, the level to which Dr. Sawyer brought Liberia into the intellectual realm will never be ignored because he lifts Liberia to the pivotal point of intellectualization in Africa and the world,” Mr. Teahjay stated. 

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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