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Silencing critical voices in the House

There is an ongoing attempt to silent some members of the House of Representatives, who are viewed by the leadership of that august body as being very critical against Speaker Bhofal Chambers and his leadership style. Three Representatives are currently being investigated by the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration at the House for allegedly bringing that body to public disrepute.

Sinoe County District #2 Rep. Nagbe Sloh, Montserrado County District #15 Rep. Adolph Lawrence and Montserrado County District #10 Rep. Yekeh Kolubah are facing probe for publicly disagreeing with Speaker Chambers.

The Speaker finds no pleasure in critical comments against his leadership in the press, attributed to some of his colleagues. He is making no secrecy in expressing his disgust about such reports. According to reports, Reps. Kolubah, Sloh and Lawrence accuse the leadership of the House headed by Speaker Chambers of involvement in malpractices.

However, we believe the unfolding development on Capitol Hill is far more than probing to set records straight. Rather, it is a calculated attempt to quiet dissenting views and renders that great hall for the exchange of ideals dormant, as it is already a rubber stamp to the Executive.

The all mighty Speaker Chambers is seeking absolute control of the rest of the 72 members in the House. He does not want to entertain any challenge from the floor during session.

Legislative functions are all about disagreement and debate to derive majority consensus on a way forward. During such exercises, there would be bitter and sometimes, acrimonious exchanges, geared at getting the best ideas.

But as things are proceeding in the House under the Chambers leadership, debate and divergent views are being thrown out of the window. Surely, this is not the kind of legislature Liberians envisage. They do not want a House which members would spend all of their time fighting one another rather than debating the matters of state.

We call on Speaking Chambers and his entire leadership to abandon the current prosecution of lawmakers with critical views. Instead, Chambers should exercise tolerance and accept criticism in good fate in order to become a better consensus builder in serving the Liberian people rather than going after perceived enemies as the present scenario depicts.

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