A least 20 of the 30 senators at the Liberian Senate have vowed to defy the very Code of Conduct which they passed as they get set to endorse the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai from the governing Unity Party tomorrow, Thursday, 11 May on the grounds of the Capitol Building. Part V Section 5.1 b) of the 2014 Code of Conduct says officials shall not: use Government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities.
The code defines Public Office in 1.3.19; Public Office: means an office used in the service of Government or the people. In a letter of invitation to their counterparts in the House of Representatives dated May 3rd and read in Plenary of the Lower House on Tuesday, 9 May under the signature of Margibi County Senator Jim Tornollah, the senators request the presence of their colleagues at the endorsement of Vice President Boakai.
Mr. Boakai, who is President of the Liberian Senate, was overwhelmingly elected by the national convention of the ruling Unity Party last year in Gbarnga, Bong County as its standard bearer, replacing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the pending elections.
The letter under the banner ‘majority members of the Liberian Senate’ said, given their (representatives’) involvement and support toward Liberia’s socio-economic and political transformation, which has culminated into the flourishing of multi- party democracy in the country, and in due recognition of their earnest desire for a quality, honest and trustworthy leadership, the majority members of the senate would be exceedingly glad for their colleagues to grace the occasion and make remarks.
It is clear that Senator Prince Johnson of Nimba County and political leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction, Senators George Mannah Weah and Jewel Howard Taylor of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Independent Presidential Candidate Oscar Cooper of Margibi County, Grand Bassa Senators Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and Jonathan Kaipee of Liberty Party are not part of the senators gearing up to pledge support to the Vice President.
However, some senators that may support Boakai include, J. Gbleh-bo Brown of Maryland County, Jim N. Tornollah, G. Alphonso Gaye of Grand Gedeh County, J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe, and George Tingban of Lofa County, respectively.
Others are: Thomas Grupee of Nimba County, Henry Yallah of Bong, A. Dallas Gueh and Francis Saturday Paye of River Cess County, Dr. Peter Coleman and Professor Albert Chie of Grand Kru County, and Matthew Jay of River Gee County.
It may be surprising that a strong member of the ruling Unity Party, Senator Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County has differed with his colleagues on the endorsement. Senator Wesseh on a local radio station in Monrovia said that he will make his political destination known upon return to the country from the United States.
By Bridgett Milton -Editing by Jonathan Browne