Since the election for the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate that brought on board Gbarpolu County Senator Armah Jallah as leader of the Liberian Senate, there’s a split in that august body.
Some senators who supported Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe during the Pro Tempore election are reportedly considered anti Jallah, while those in the camp of Jallah are perceived to be strong allies of the new President Pro Tempore.
As the result of the huge political segregation within the senate, Thursday’s leadership election favoured all contestants from the camp of President Pro Temp Jallah over contestants from the Nagbe camp.
Those elected to the new Senate leadership wre Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif, Chairpman on the Executive, (chief organizer of the Jallah campaign), Lofa County’s George Tingbeh, Chairman on Rules, Order and Administration as well as Montserrado and Nimba County Senators George Weah and Prince Johnson, Liberia’s Representatives to ECOWAS and Pan African Parliament.
Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee was elected Chairman on Internal Affairs, while Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh defeated Alphonso Gaye for the lucrative Ways, Means and Finance Committee.
It can be recalled that during the election campaign, Senator Weah hosted the entire campaign team of Jallah at his Rehab Community for a night-long consultations.
Defeated senators are reportedly rejuvenating political strength to be storming block to the progress of the Jallah.
Speculations within the corridors of the Capitol Building indicate that President Pro Tempore Jallah may get the full support of the Chief Executive, Madam Ellen Johnson because the conduct of the leadership election and Vice President and President of the Senate Joseph Boakai will preside over many sessions in order to deny active functions and control of the new President Pro Temp during his three-year leadership.
However, Pro Temp Jallah, apparently noticing the huge gap among senators from the two main camps, during a colourful luncheon in honour of him and Vice President Boakai, called for total reconciliation, admonishing senators to work as a team.
According to him, election was over and that the interest of the country must be their paramount concern, especially senators elected to serve the people.
Acknowledging the bad feelings among senators, Jallah promised to be torch bearer in the reconciliation drive, noting that as far as he was concerned, there was no loser in both the Pro Tempore and leadership elections, considering every senator with equal constitutional rights and powers.
He asserted that he’s only the presiding officer in the absence of the President of the Senate and not as a person desperate and greedy for powers.
On February 12, 2015, Senator Jallah was elected as President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate. He won 13 out of the 27 votes cast during the long-awaited Pro-Tempore election.
Jallah was immediately sworn in by the Secretary of the Senate, Nanborlor Singbe.
Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe got 11 out of the 27 votes, while Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper got three.
Singbe also revealed that Pro Temp Jallah will serve for three years since he is concluding the term of former President Pro Tempore Gbehnzohngar Findley, who lost in the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Elections.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor