Senators here have been weighing the responsibilities awaiting them as they begin work at the Capitol with Margibi County newly inducted Senator, J. Emmanuel Nuquay, who once served as Speaker of the House in the 53rdLegislature, calling on his colleagues to review some of the concession agreements they signed in order to help boost the economy.
Mr. Nuquay resigned as Speaker and became running mate for former vice president Joseph Nyumah Boakai during the 2017 presidential election on the ticket of the ex-ruling Unity Party but lost to now President George Manneh Weah.
However, speaking at his induction in the chambers of the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, Senator Nuquay said the senate is challenged with issues of high cost of importing goods, inflation, lack of roads, lack of support to the Education sector, and lack of safe drinking water, amongst others that require immediate intervention.
He says senators will work together to address issues concerning the Decent Work Act, which need to addressed immediately.
River Gee County Senator Jonathan “Boy Charles” Sogbie, who is making his debut in the Liberian Senate, says he hasn’t gonethere to fight anyone but to serve his people and Liberians at large. But he notes that anything at the senate that is not in the interest of the people will have a checkmark, adding that anything on the contrary couldhurt the country’s unborn generation.
Senator Sogbie notes that the economy is faced with cash shortage, yet some of his colleagues [from the House of Representatives] create means for by-elections by vying for the senate despite being an incumbent lawmaker, which poses strains on the already nose-dived economy.
He calls for a legislation that would require any incumbent member of the House seeking senatorial position to resign, lamenting, there will soon be four by-elections and the country will have to spend US$4 million or above.
Former deputy speaker of the 54th Legislature Prince Moye, now Senator of Bong County, says he took the highest risk of leaving his post to contest for the senate, which he won, adding that it was the will of the people for him to serve as their senator.
Senator Moye says he didn’t run with the intention of going to the senate to become Senate President Pro-Tempore because he knows election for the post will not be held until 2024. He says his focus was not the budget for deputy speaker, but the willingness to serve.
Montserrado county Senator Abraham Darius Dillon urges his colleagues to work in the interest of the Liberian people, reminding them that nine years has an end. Dillon maintains that they will work together to get the job done for the people, vowing to be more robust this time around.
He thanks the people of Montserrado for their support and discloses that as he declares his assets, they need to re-visit the Code of Conduct for public officials so that any official who declares his assets should publish them.
Grand Bassa County re-elected Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence rallies her colleagues to work to restore stability in the economy and make the lives of the people better. She says they will work with independent senators of like minds to put the senate feet to the fire so that it can work for the Liberian people.
She lauds the people of Grand Bassa for their love and support, the Collaborating Political Parties, and all other well-wishes, for the opportunity given her to serve her people for another nine years. Twenty of the 30 senators at the Capitol resumed official work on Monday, January 11, after their annual break.
Statutorily, a total of 30 senators represent all 15 political sub-divisions of the country, meaning two senators from each county. But the conduct of the recent Special Senatorial election which should have produced 15 new senators is beset disputes currently before the National Elections Commission.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne