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Senate summons Governor Charles Sirleaf

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The plenary of the Liberian Senate summons the Acting Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Charles Sirleaf to state why he should not be held in contempt.

Last week, the Senate invited Acting Governor Sirleaf, officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and authorities of the Liberia Revenue Authority to give reasons for the high cost of living in the country.

On Monday, 9 July senators had gathered in plenary for a special session when it was announced through a communication under the signature of Mr. Sirleaf that he (Sirleaf) couldn’t show up for the session on grounds that there is new nomination for his post and any time said nominee if confirmed by the Senate will take over.

Mr. Sirleaf, who serves as deputy governor under former ex-Executive Governors Weeks and Jones for many years argues that he is not the rightful official to give detail information on the current inflation and uncontrollable skyrocketing of the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and the United States Dollar.
The exchange rate currently fluctuates between 158 and 159LRD to US$1.00.

Following several minutes of consultations among senators and Senate Pro- Tempore Albert Chie, Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman made a motion that acting Executive Governor Sirleaf be compelled to appear before that august body to show cause why he should be held in contempt.

However, Finance and Development Planning Minister was represented by Deputy Minister Samora Wolokollie and the LRA was represented by Deputy Commissioner Decontee King Sackie, including the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Wilson Tarpeh.

Article 44 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution states: Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the legislative functions or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their legislative duties and may be punished by the House concerned by reasonable sanctions after a hearing consistent with due process of law. No sanctions shall extend beyond the session of the Legislature wherein it is imposed, and any sanction imposed shall conform to the provisions on Fundamental Rights laid down in the Constitution. Disputes between legislators and non-members which are properly cognizable in the courts shall not be entertained or heard in the Legislature.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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